Putorti’s Market turns 90

B y Matthew Saari

It’s a name that requires no introduction to anyone who lives in Whitehall. It’s not so much a business or small-town market as it is an institution – a keystone of the foundation of Whitehall’s identity.

Putorti’s Market on Broadway in Whitehall, New York.

It is Putorti’s Market on Broadway.
In a few days Putorti’s will be celebrating its 90th year in business.
To show their appreciation for the continuing support the community shows them, owners Francis “Fra” and Cheryl Putorti will host a customer appreciation day on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’ll have a bouncy house, grab a DJ…we’re going to make Gram’s Subs, we’re going to have Italian cookies, hot dogs; we have some giveaways for our customers that come and participate,” Cheryl said. “It’s just a way for us to thank our customers for all their support for many years.”
Later that evening the Putortis will host a party at their home, directly across the street. It promises to be quite the shindig.
Nearly 200 people will converge on the Putorti homestead. Family, friends and more than 175 former employees, some traveling from as far as Alaska, Arizona and Minnesota.
“We’ve invited all of our family, friends, and all the past employees we could find,” said Cheryl. “We’re expecting about 200 people at our house. We’ve rented a tent, tables and chairs.”
But how did this all come to pass? How has a family owned and operated market, which has not only done business but thrived through 16 presidents, the Great Depression and the Great Recession, a feat that even the franchise juggernaut McDonald’s cannot emulate?
To understand how Putorti’s has reached its current station, one must first understand the history.

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