Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will recognize 10 area individuals and businesses at its annual Chamber Awards Gala, Friday, May 17, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
In addition to the tributes, the annual event will feature an evening of live music, a silent auction, table wines donated by local wineries and businesses, and hors d'oeuvres followed by a sit-down dinner.
2013 Youngstown Business of the Year
The Youngstown Business & Professional Association has chosen Melloni's Market Place as the 2013 Youngstown Business of the Year. Melloni's is located at 200 Lockport St., and has been a welcome addition to the community in the two years it has been there.
Lou and Diane and their son, Mario Melloni, worked day and night exactly two years ago for weeks on end preparing the store for the grand opening. Since 2011, the store has increased its inventory, undergone renovations, and increased the number of employees and variety to fit customer needs. The store was a food market before the Melloni's took it over, however, it was run with limited inventory and was not run up to the standards that the community wanted. With extensive experience in the food industry running Melloni's Prime Meats and Catering, Lou, Diane and Mario brought the market back to life, and it is a busy place that caters to customers across the River Region.
Lou, Diane and Mario divide their time and always make sure at least one of them is at the Market Place at all times. The store is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and employs a staff of 25. The fresh meat department and deli has a great selection of fresh, hand-cut offerings. The bakery features fresh donuts, bread including Portage Bakery loaves, and rolls that are brought in every day. Future plans include adding a sub shop counter as well as providing outdoor garden nursery items.
Cleanliness and customer service is very important, and the staff will go out of its way to make sure the store is spotless and accommodate customers. The staff likes to get to know their customers. Oftentimes you can find a staff worker carrying out groceries or even delivering items if someone needs it.
Lou mentioned they are in the process of designing a survey for customers to fill out so they can make sure they are meeting the needs and carrying what customers want. One of their customers, a village resident, sent a wonderful letter, which is on display at the front desk of the store. His quote explains much of why the store is so successful: "As a customer I have witnessed the growth of this store and the wonderful old-school, family run attitude. It's perfect to have a nice clean store with a great meat market nearby that has most everything you need."
The visitors often find the store on their way to Old Fort Niagara, after soccer games or coming in from their boats. Ice cream is a big seller during the summer months, especially on concert nights. Local campgrounds often send campers to the store to pick up supplies and items. And Melloni's always makes sure the inventory is there to accommodate what customers are looking for. Besides its weekly promotional flyer, Melloni's also has a strong Web presence, including up-to-date information and special promotions on its Facebook page.
Melloni's Market Place has been involved in village activities since opening in 2011. Participation in the "Here Comes Summer Street Festival," community picnic, food drives and other village events are all activities that Melloni's is involved in. One can sometimes find a troop of Girl Scouts set up outside the store selling cookies.
Melloni's is an active member of the Youngstown Business & Professional Association. It counts on the business association for updates and to help promote the grocery store. The YBPA and Melloni's partnered to create the first official "float" in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The YBPA and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulate Melloni's Market Place, the 2013 Youngstown Business of the Year.