Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ownership stays in family at grocery for 4 generations

Janet H. Cho, Plain Dealer Reporter

Third-generation Cleveland grocer Burt Saltzman has handed over the reins of his successful chain of stores to his sons.

Daniel Saltzman, 44, is now president of Dave's Supermarkets, and Steven, 40, is executive vice president.

"I'm not retiring yet," said Burt Saltzman, 68. "I'm still chairman of the board, and I'll still be around. . . . This is just a way for me to slow down a little bit.

"But they're doing most of the work anyway, so let them have the titles. Let them enjoy their success while I'm still around."

Dave's, named after Burt's father, was Cleveland's first large-scale urban grocery when it opened at 3301 Payne Avenue in 1928. An expanded, 42,000-square-foot version of that store still attracts a bustling mix of residents and commuters.

"Congratulations are in order," said John Zagara, the third-generation store director of Zagara's Marketplace in Cleveland Heights. "It's a fabulous tribute to their family to have the fourth generation doing as well as they're doing. Usually by the third generation, businesses are falling apart."

Burt Saltzman, who learned the business delivering produce for his grandfather Alex, still shows up for work at 5:30 a.m.

The Saltzman family plans to open its ninth full-service grocery in the 30,000-square-foot former Wild Oats space at Shaker Square on Sept. 1.

© 2005 The Plain Dealer   © 2005 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.

return to Dave's