B y Derek Liebig
Family-run business to be honored by LDC Dec. 6
A local store that has been in business for the better part of the last century will be honored by the Washington County Local Development Corporation and the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce during an awards banquet next week.
Putorti’s Broadway Market will receive a Lifetime Community Commitment Award during the Washington County Small Business of the Year Awards Luncheon on December 6.
“They really impressed us with their story,” Deanna Derway, head of the county LDC said. “They are a meeting place for the community. Our interviewer was really impressed that they knew everyone’s name who walked in and what they eat. They really know their customers personally.”
The LDC and the ARCC started giving out annual awards to Washington County-based businesses eight years ago. Putorti’s is the first business to ever receive the Lifetime Community Commitment Award.
Derway said a seven-member committee reviews each year’s nominees and then interview the business owners and selects the businesses they feel are most deserving.
She said Putorti’s was a unanimous selection.
“We’ve never had someone come back from an interview and speak so highly of a business,” Derway said of the interviewer. “The interviewer thought they (owners Fra and Cheryl Putorti) were very cool people.”
The committee was also impressed by the business’s longevity.
“To have been in business for 86 years, it’s unbelievable. There’s a lot of businesses in Washington County, but that takes the award,” Derway said.
Putorti’s first opened on Sept. 8, 1927, in a small stone house on Mountain Street. The business was operated by Caroline Putorti, who moved to the United States from Italy when she was 13.
In 1950, the store was moved to its current location and three years later, the store’s trademark sandwich, “Gram’s sub”—a sandwich topped with mayonnaise, onions and Italian meats—was invented.
In the early 1970s, Fred and Ann Putorti took over the store, and in 1973, their son, Fra purchased the business. He married Cheryl a few years later and the couple has poured its heart and soul into the business ever since.
But it was their involvement in the community that truly made them stand out, Derway said.
“They’re very involved,” she said, listing off the different organizations and civic groups the couple is involved with. “It’s not only monetary but they volunteer their time and it speaks volumes of them. They really are pillars of the community.”
Derway, who said she has been stopping by Putorti’s for years, said the favorite part of her job is handing out the awards each year.
“There are so many cool businesses in Washington County. It’s great to highlight and show people what we have here in Washington County,” she said. “I’m excited to give them the award.”
Other award recipients this year are: the Agricultural Stewardship Association and Currin Compliance Service, LLC, both of Greenwich and Adirondack Technical Solutions in Argyle.
The awards will be presented during a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 6 at Rainer’s Gourmet Inspiration in Kingsbury. The banquet is open to the public.