The Tops Friendly Market Reopened its Doors on Jefferson Avenue
The Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, New York quietly reopened its doors to the community on Friday, July 15th. Prior to the reopening, the company hosted an event on Thursday, July 14th – marking two months since the tragedy that claimed the lives of 10 people and left 3 others wounded – a moment of silence and prayer to honor the victims, employees and community impacted by the mass shooting. A water wall was built inside the store which serves as a memorial to the victims as well. Tops is working with the city and the neighborhood to create a memorial for the outside of the store in addition to the water wall memorial inside the store. The decision to reopen, rather than relocate, the store has been met with mixed emotions in the Buffalo neighborhood, that fought for years to get a grocery store.
Since opening in 2003, the Tops location remains the only supermarket in the surrounding area. Its closure in the wake of the shooting forced many residents to take buses to other locations or rely on stopgap measures like neighborhood giveaways to access fresh food. “We wanted to give the community the right store, with the right offerings, and the right feel, and we wanted to do it in a very respectful way. That was really our driving motivation,” Tops president, John Persons, shared with the community on Thursday – acknowledging the immediate needs of this food resource.
Founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1962, Tops Friendly Markets operates 150 full-service supermarkets across New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.