‘We’re sad to see Hegedorn’s go’; family-owned market closes its doors
WEBSTER, N.Y. — It’s truly the end of an era as family-owned Hegedorn’s Market in Webster closes its doors for good at 7 p.m. Thursday. The well-loved business has served the community for the past 70-years.
News10NBC’s Patrick Moussignac talked to loyal customers who stopped by one last time.
It’s a sad day for those who loved the market.
Customers say their parents used to bring them to the market decades ago. Now many of them bring their own children or even their grandkids out shopping with them.
“Thanks for being here,” says shopper Jenna Cline. “We’re sad to see Hegedorn’s go. But thanks for your service to Webster and the community. It’s been in our family forever. My grandparents lived here. My parents lived here. We live here. My son is here and loved Hegedorn’s.”
Thursday the market is a shell of it’s former self. The aisles and shelves are almost empty — a far different picture to when Hegedorn’s Market first opened it’s doors in 1953.
“I remember the dairy on the corner that was out here,” says shopper Debbie Tirohn. “We would always get ice cream when my grandparents were here. So it’s bitter sweet.”
Hegedorn’s served a purpose a lot of it’s bigger competitors couldn’t provide for some customers.
“They were convenient for some things that other stores don’t have,” says shopper Dennis Eranstone. “They’re a reasonable store. It’s hard to compete with Wegmans. I mean, there’s so many branches.”
Hegedorn’s General Manager Jon Gonzalez tells News10NBC the closing of the market was a business decision because they couldn’t keep up with the competition.
“Unfortunately this business model, and this building with 45,000 square feet, it just wasn’t sustainable in the long term, and we had to make a change for the future,” says Gonzalez
For the next couple of hours, it’s an emotional goodbye for both employees and customers.
“The customers are very nice — have been very good to us,” says employee Jennie Uhl. “They’re all coming in hugging us saying goodbye. We know their names. They know ours. And it just an end of an era.”
Gonzalez says it won’t sit idle for long. In fact, development meetings and plans have already been discussed with the Town of Webster. Gonzalez shared one of those thoughts with News10NBC.
“It’s likely going to be chopped up into a few different businesses,” he explains. “We don’t have it all finalized yet. We have Webster Wine and Spirits — which is just next door — will move into a piece of the building, and we’re evaluating plans for the other different pieces, and what’s going to fit there.”
One Webster resident tells News10NBC what she would like the space used for.
“Seeing a couple little different local shops, or even somewhere for kids to go to,” says Cline. “I know we have a good parks and rec department and everything here. A community center would be really neat to see that.”
Most of the aisles and shelves in the market are empty, but a lot of food still remains. Gonzalez says all of it will be donated to Foodlink.
“It’s nice to have a little bit positive seeing this go out into the community and impact some people you know tomorrow. So we’re really glad to be working with them, and that feels good,” says Gonzalez.