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New outdoor memorial at store, shaped by community design process, to be installed later this year
Tops Friendly Markets Press Release
Tops Friendly Markets plans to close its Jefferson Avenue store on Sunday, May 14, to support the community’s healing as Western New York remembers the victims, honors the survivors, and reflects on Buffalo’s response and recovery in the aftermath of last year’s horrible acts of violence, racism and domestic terrorism. The store will reopen at 7 a.m. Monday, May 15, and resume normal operating hours.
Recognizing the importance of community access to food and household essentials, Tops will provide a free bus service from the parking lot of the Jefferson Avenue store to its Elmwood Avenue location every hour on the hour, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 14. The company will post signs at the store beginning April 30 to inform customers of the bus service.
This closure will also provide Tops associates who work at the Jefferson Avenue store time for themselves and their families on a difficult and emotional day.
“One year later, our hearts still ache for the victims, survivors, their families and our community, and we reflect with gratitude for everyone who responded to this hateful, racist attack with abundant love for our neighbors,” said John Persons, president of Tops Markets. “Our collective healing is helped by the way people in Western New York came together and the way we continue to show up for each other. We are inspired by the ongoing resiliency of our associates who have helped us carry forward the mission we’ve maintained since first opening this store: Serving the needs of our community. As we remember the lives lost and altered on that day, we deepen our resolve to support and uplift the Jefferson Avenue community.”
As part of the healing process, Tops plans to install a permanent memorial on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Landon Street later this year. The design process was led by local firm Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect PC, and shaped by input and guidance from the Honor Space Planning Committee, which consists of community members, survivors, family members of the victims, and company associates.
This memorial is in addition to the company’s participation in New York state’s May 14 Memorial Commission, which is working with civic leaders and community members to develop and advise on a structure to memorialize the life and legacy of the 10 Black residents who died in the attack.