The founding of Bells, Super Duper and Tops grocery stores

By Steve Cichon


Thirty-five years ago this month, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper’s starting a daily edition.

In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.

Reporter Stephanie Christopher’s look back at the families who put food on the shelves of area grocery stores for generations — before founding Buffalo’s first supermarkets — offers a glimpse at businesses that have all been bought and sold out of local control over the last 35 years.

The one standout is Tops Markets, which was sold to the Dutch firm Ahold in 1991, only to be sold back to local owners in 2006.

Published by


Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.