NEW OWNERSAfter 79 years of Smith family ownership, Smiths 141 Super Market in Wausaukee opened Jan. 2 with new owners and a new name. Sal and Paul Sarvello of Pulaski have taken over operation of the store now called Sals Foods. Pictured left to right are Norman Smith, George Smith, JoAnn Schlies, Sal and Paula Sarvello.
Smiths Supermarket Has New Owners, New Name
After 79 years of family ownership, Smiths 141 Super Market in Wausaukee opened Wednesday, Jan. 2 with new owners. Sal and Paula Sarvello of Pulaski have purchased the Wausaukee store, and have given the store a new name, Sals Foods.
The Sarvellos are not new to the grocery business. Since 2006 they have owned and operated a store in Black Creek about the same square footage as Smiths. Sal, a native of Marquette, Mi., knows how important a grocery store is to a smaller community. So does his wife, the fomer Paula Urbaniak of Marinette. They value the small town atmosphere and promise to keep the same friendly service the Smith family gave. Great Lakes Foods in Menominee will be the major supplier to the new venture.
Sal said he and Paula would often stop at Smiths 141 over the years on their way to see family in Marquette and always marveled at how clean the store was and how busy their meat counter was. The location was perfect, Sal said. Little did we know that someday we would own it. We all wish the Smiths the best in retirement.
The Sarvellos have two college age boys, John and Anthony, who help out at the family business when home from school.
The sale ends a three generation tradition of Smith family ownership that started in 1931 when George B. Smith bought out his partner, Amos Christ and strengthened in 1933 when Norm Smith, now 96 and still working in the store, graduated from high school and joined his father in business at what was then a general store, and one of six stores selling groceries in Wausaukee at the time. The store changed locations a few times over the years, and eventually evolved into the supermarket it is today. Eventually two of Norms children, son, George and daughter JoAnn, and later their spouses, Dave Schlies and Marge Smith, joined him in the business. In 2003, Norm officially turned the store over to his offspring. He cut down his own working hours, but didnt fully retire.
George, who has been president of the family corporation since 2003, said making the decision to sell was tough, ...but it is time. After growing up in this business it is hard to let go, but JoAnn and I are getting older and with no one in the family wanting to take over this was an opportunity that would be hard to pass up.
Norm gave his blessing for the sale. At 96 years of age I have been blessed to have two of my children follow in my footsteps and run a successful operation. We all wish the new owners success in their new endeavor, he said.
Norm is finally going to fully retire, and spend his time going through boxes and boxes of memorabilia collected over his many years in business, and his many years of community service that included nearly two decades as village president.
George said he and Marge will finally have some leisure time to enjoy, but he expects to remain quite busy fulfilling his responsibilities as Marinette County Coroner.
Dave and JoAnn plan to travel abit and spend more time doing volunteer work.
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