Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Family Affair

Families keep things fresh in local markets



Jeremy and Beth Nevins with daughter Olivia and sons Lucas (left) and Chase (right) at Siegel Bros. Marketplace in Mt. Kisco.

In an industry where large companies are purchased by even larger companies, how do small, independent food businesses survive? Luckily, our family-run food markets have figured out how to remain relevant and in business. Their secret? They go the extra mile, offering what the big guys can’t. 

Looking Back
When Ben Conte’s grandfather opened Conte’s Fish Market in Mt. Kisco in 1952, he began a family business that is now run by the third and fourth generation. Conte and his sons, Dean and Rob, have expanded the fish market to include a restaurant, take-out, catering, and a regular presence at local farmers markets. The elder Conte’s reputation for selecting quality fish and seafood has even earned him a feature in The New York Times. 

Reputation and longevity has also worked in Billy Fortin’s favor, but with a twist. While The Market at Pound Ridge, formerly Scott’s Corner Market, is a family business, Fortin’s family wasn’t always running the show. He began as an employee and worked his way up, eventually purchasing the business with a partner fourteen years later. When his partner retired in 2007, Fortin became the sole owner and now works alongside his wife, Lisa, a former visual merchandiser for The Gap and Nike, and their adult sons, Michael and Jason. 

As newcomers, Jeremy and Beth Nevins quickly built a steady stream of regular customers at Siegel Bros. While Jeremy and his father opened and ran Grande Harvest Wines in Grand Central Terminal for twenty years, this is the first time he and his wife have worked together, opening Siegel Bros. Wine & Spirits in December 2016 and Siegel Bros. Marketplace in February 2017, both in Mt. Kisco. 

While different, these three food markets have created similar philosophies and structure.

The Customer Comes First
Attending to the needs of the general population, as well as specific customer requests builds and maintains loyal customers who return week after week. Even when it’s unusual, they all believe the customer is always right. 

“Each year, we sell two thousand turkeys for Thanksgiving,” says Billy Fortin. “We only sell fresh turkeys; I’ve never had one returned. But last year I had a customer return the carcass of turkey. She said it was dry and terrible, but in reality, she overcooked the turkey! I gave her credit for the turkey with my apologies because you can’t tell a customer she doesn’t know how to cook! That’s the kind of thing a chain store can’t do.”

Pleasing customers also includes recognizing that they will only shop local when those stores offer the right merchandise. All three markets provide a combination of organic foods, healthy options, and to-go meals prepared on-site. 

Quality Is Key
Ben Conte is up before the sun to get the best fish. Lisa Fortin and her sons have introduced more high-end products to their store and gift shop. Siegel Bros. has customers who drive from the Bronx and Scarsdale to purchase their meats each week. Quality, they believe, sets them apart. 

“The quality of the product has to be spot on,” says Jeremy Nevins. “You only have one chance to woo a customer—most people don’t give you a second chance. You have to make sure the quality is there every single time.”

For Ben Conte, that means a very early start to his day. “Every day, I wake up at 1:00 in the morning to go the Fulton Fish Market,” Conte explains. “I do my buying from 35 or 45 different wholesalers and shop around for the freshest fish. Probably 80 percent of the fish in the market comes from afar, so I want the stuff that’s had the shortest amount of time out of water and what’s in season.”

Divvying It Up
Each business has a similar structure when it comes to responsibilities and maintaining boundaries. All family members have specific jobs, ensuring that no one steps on each other’s toes. And, they all believe that work remains mostly at work, separating family time from their business. 

For the Nevinses, Jeremy manages the stores on-site and Beth handles customer relations and event planning both in the store and from home. The Contes have Ben handling fish purchases and retail, Rob managing the restaurant, and Dean in charge of the farmers markets and catering. At The Market, Billy is still in charge, but Lisa handles the accounting, bookkeeping, and gift shop while Michael puts his culinary school education to work, and Jason serves as the “tech guy.” 

Running a family business requires love, understanding and cooperation—something these local markets have all mastered.


GOOD BUSINESS According to FamilyBusinessCenter.com, what truly drives many family businesses is the sense of connection the owners and their families feel with the business, and the environment for innovation in family businesses improves when more generations are actively involved.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Bedford Shoutouts May-June 2018

This, That, and Other Things

Model Mom

Kimberly Petts shares how a canine model and show dog set aside her career to welcome a dozen pups

Market Driven

The Happiness Is Back Market and Café offers tasty food inside and out

Flowers

Bringing them inside

Art: Bee Time

The exhibition Wild Bees features exquisite color photographs of native bees in their natural habitats––thru Nov 11

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

April 2018

The annual Bedford Spring Antiques Show will take place on Saturday, April 14th and Sunday, April 15th at the Harvey School in Katonah. The show is open to the public on Saturday, April 14th...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Harvey School
260 Jay Street
Katonah , NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthews Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Website »

More information

We invite you to the Music Room for an intimate piano recital by the incomparable Richard Goode, hailed as one of the “finest pianists in the world” (The Washington Post). Goode, known...

Cost: $30, $40, $60, $80, $85

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Contact Name: Caroline Andrews
Website »

More information

New Haven photographer Raymond Smith will present a lecture titled “I Am a Camera,” which will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. The reception is at 3:00 pm, followed...

Cost: Free for Museum members and students (with valid ID); non-members $15

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Music from Copland House salutes one of America's foremost flutists, Paul Lustig Dunkel, who left a major legacy at Copland House, throughout Westchester, and beyond. This program features...

Cost: $25, $20 (Friends), $10 (Students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
Website »

More information

The Sanctuary Series, dedicated to presenting extraordinary keyboard recitals in the historic hamlet of South Salem welcomes Frederic Chiu. Mr. Chiu has been described as “a stunningly...

Cost: $15 to $50

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: The Sanctuary Series
Telephone: 914 763 5402
Contact Name: Mary Jane Newman
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Robin Jaffee Frank, Ph.D., organizer of the exhibition World War I Beyond the Trenches (New-York Historical Society, May-September 2017) and former Chief Curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of...

Cost: $10 non-members; Members and students free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Registration Closes: Friday, April 13th Fancy yourself a cocktail enthusiast? Looking to take your tumbler shaking skills to the next level? You're in luck—bartender James Bumbery of Pour in Mt....

Cost: $85.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. For more information and to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Department of Social Services
112 E Post Road
White Plains, NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914-997-6700
Contact Name: Toyae Liverpool
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

The Bedford Chamber Concert Series presents “Big Music for Small Ensembles”, with premiere performances of two pieces composed by Music Director Anthony Newman--an Overture and Concerto...

Cost: $40 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: Music Committee of St. Matthew's
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Registration Closes - Wednesday, April 18th Meets - 6 consecutive Thursdays, April 19th through May 24th  Grades 5 and up, Parents welcome to attend - Please register separately...

Cost: $299

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 191-497-74243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

Registration Closes: Wednesday, April 18th Denaye Barahona is the voice behind Simple Families--a blog, podcast, and community helping mothers to thrive through simple living and minimalism. She...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"3EXHIBITS 6ARTISTS" a series of 3 exhibits featuring two artists each. Second show: Opening reception on Friday, April 20th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

"3 Exhibits 6 Artists​" The second exhibit of a series of three! April 20th to May 20th. Opening Reception Friday April 20 from 5:30-8:30 Linda Puiatti is a landscape painter living...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 191-423-28100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

"3EXHIBTS 6ARTISTS" a series of three shows featuring two artists each, started in March and it will continue until June.  Second  exhibit will open on Friday April 20...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel Looking to get your hands dirty and learn how to use the potter’s wheel? Try Clay Center’s...

Cost: $50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

An Early Childhood Discovery Fair will be held Saturday, April 21 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. for toddlers, preschoolers and their parents.  The Discovery Fair is a guided, hands-on...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Canaan Country School
635 Frogtown Rd
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: New Canaan Country School
Telephone: (203) 801-5608
Contact Name: Cathy Schinella
Website »

More information

Ages: Teens & Adults Registration Closes - Wednesday, April 18th Brenna is a mixed media artist and teacher with over 25 years of experience teaching both children and adults. Her work has been...

Cost: $55.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

Join Grace Farms Foundation in celebrating the biodiversity of nature this Earth Day. Explore Grace Farms’ 80-acre preserve and enjoy programs and activities highlighting the importance of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203-920-1702
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Registration Closes - Wednesday, April 18th Are you looking for a new creative outlet or simply a relaxing activity to unwind from the week? Then this brush calligraphy workshop is for you!...

Cost: $60.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

More information

"3EXHIBTS 6ARTISTS" a series of three shows featuring two artists each, started in March and it will continue until June.  Second  exhibit will open on Friday April 20...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags