McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Stores in Monroeville, Brentwood closing
After a seven-decade run, the McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Stores is closing its businesses in Monroeville and Brentwood.
“From our family to yours, thank you to our customers and to our team members for 71 wonderful years! It has been an honor to be part of the community and your family dinners. With much love and gratitude, Bonnie, Sharon, Noreen and the entire McGinnis Family,” read the market's website recently.
The locally-owned grocery tried for a long time to stay competitive in the market place, said Jennifer Daurora, part of the third generation to run the business.
“But at the end of the day, there was just too much pressure. We couldn't keep up,” she said.
She said there might be a reincarnated version of the McGinnis Sisters brand customers have grown to love in the future. She said options like catering and being wholesalers are on the table. But for now, she said, the focus is easing the transition for its remaining 100 employees.
“We're helping them with their resumes, writing letters of recommendation and connecting them to personal contacts in the industry ... we're committed to getting them the help they need,” Daurora said.
Director of Meat and Seafood Carl Pursh said the owners made the emotional announcement last week in front of several employees.
“It was very much a surprise to the employees,” he said. “But it was done very tastefully and with a lot of heart. It was difficult for them — they really treat us like family.”
Pursh said stores will close when inventory is gone from 20-percent markdown sales.
“I don't think (the sale) is gonna last very long,” Pursh said.
As for the 56-year-old's next move, he doesn't know.
“I'm too young to retire. I enjoy this business. I'm a meat cutter by trade; it's what I've always done,” he said.
Pursh has been with the company for 23 years.
The store was opened in Baldwin Borough in 1946 by Elwood McGinnis. The most recent owners — Noreen Campbell, Sharon Young and Bonnie Vello — said in 2016 they planned to transition ownership to another generation within the family, to Max Young, son of Sharon.
The grocery store is known for carrying specialty seafood, hand-cut meat, fresh breads packaged in brown bags, a line of kielbasas and many locally sourced foods.
The market's Mars location closed in January.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325.