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By Jay Mullen

Fra and Cheryl Putorti were working behind the counter, serving the line of customers in their market on a sunny afternoon.

They work seven days a week, 365 days a year at the market, bearing a small vacation stint.

After the line of people slimmed down, Fra was still running around the store trying to get things done. “He’s got a million things going on today,” Cheryl said with a chuckle.

Putorti’s Market has been a family owned and operated business for three generations ever since 1927 when Fra’s grandmother immigrated from Italy and opened her own business.

But with no one left in the family wanting to run the operation, Fra and Cheryl have decided to put the market up for sale.

The market is on sale for $1.2 million and includes two renovated apartments and a parking lot to the right of the property.

Real Estate Innovations broker Susan Young said the market has only been on the market for about two weeks. There have been no official offers made up to this point, but there have been plenty of inquiries.

“It’s definitely a fabulous business opportunity, it’s a very profitable business if someone runs it well,” Young said.

Fra and Cheryl don’t plan on selling the business and riding off into the sunset just yet. They are still part-owners of the Railyard Taproom and Restaurant, and they are offering to stay on as consultants to help the new business owner’s transition.

Fra and Cheryl Putorti.

“We are willing to help them if they want help any way we can because we want to see it succeed,” Cheryl said.

The Putortis are looking to “semi-retire” after the sale because of their partial owning of the Railyard.

Fra stopped working for a second to chime in. ““We want to be Wal-Mart greeters, it’s been our goal,” he said jokingly.

But Cheryl said she is looking forward to not having to commit to working seven days a week.

“That will give us something to do, but we’ll have a little more time maybe to retire,” she said.

She and Fra don’t plan on leaving the community that they have known their entire lives after the sale of the business. Even if the new owners don’t want their help, they will be keeping an eye on what happens next.

“We live right across the street so we gotta kind of watch it happen,” she said with a smile.

The decision to sell the family business wasn’t something that just came up out of nowhere. Cheryl said that they had been talking with their children about what their future looks like and how to proceed with the market.

They are opting to sell it rather than just close its doors because of what the market means to the community.

“I think it would hurt the community if the store wasn’t here,” Cheryl said.

She said that their dream candidate would be a nice young couple who would want to come in and be a part of the Whitehall community.

Fra said they aren’t looking to get out of the business for any particular reason.

“We’re not bored with it,” he said. “It’s different every day and I enjoy doing it, but it’s time.”

If you are interested in purchasing the market or making any inquiries you can call the Real Estate Innovations office at 518-499-9043, Young at 518-683-1171 or Principle Broker Linda Barber at 518-744-9004. If you would like to see the property you will need to make an appointment.

Fra and Cheryl are looking forward to the next chapter of their lives but know it won’t be easy to say goodbye to the routine they have grown accustomed to.

“We are looking forward to it, but at the same time it will be a bittersweet day when it does happen,” Cheryl said.

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