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In days gone by, when malls didn’t exist and local shops served as a meeting place for neighbors, Earl Cross opened one of those local shops. He dubbed it Cross’s Red and White, an old corner store that stood at an intersection in Kennedy. Before he retired in 1971, he approached a younger man named Ronnie Mead, who was looking for a place to work in Kennedy. Ronnie purchased the store, and today his son Tim Mead runs it as the Kennedy Supermarket.
“My mother was from the Kennedy area, and they wanted to live back in this area,” Tim explained. “He saw the opportunity of the store for sale…and after he had thought about it he decided he would try it, and purchased it.”
Tim’s father also bought the three properties next door to Cross’s, giving them room to expand. The gas pumps, added in 1980, now stand where the original building was located, next to the larger store that was built in 1976. The Kennedy Supermarket has a produce area, a meat department, a bakery, deli, and a store full of general grocery and snack items.
Ever since he moved to Kennedy as a five-year-old boy, the supermarket has been a part of Tim’s life. As teenagers, he and his brother took their first jobs as stock boys. When his brother left to pursue a career in medicine, Tim decided to stay with the family business.
“There was a time when I was a teenager that I didn’t want to work here,” Tim admitted. But he stuck with his job and his commitment paid off. “When my father got tired of running the store, he offered me the opportunity to purchase it,” he said.
His view of the store has changed somewhat since his early days. “I enjoy how it’s not repetitious, it’s always something different going on,” Tim said. “It’s exciting to have ideas on ways to increase your business, and then watching those succeed.”
His natural aptitude and business sense show in his excitement for new sales ideas. “It’s interesting that you can come up with creative ideas for sales and see those things become successful,” he shared. Over the years he has learned what ideas work, and what ideas are better left in his head.
Tim has never been one to be afraid of a new idea. He learned what his customers wanted through trial and error, testing out new ideas and staying aware of the latest trends. For this reason, he has focused on augmenting the meat department of his store to offer the finest quality deli products.
“Fresh goods are what seem to be expanding,” Tim explained. “Almost everyone sells dry goods… But you can’t always get really good meat departments, produce and deli departments like you can here,” he said. So Tim makes sure that the products they offer are what their customers deserve.
He has been able to get to know many of his customers over the years, as well as his staff. Several of the staff members have been with the store for over ten years, “which I think is great,” Tim said.
The staff and customers were able to watch his three children grow up working in the store, just as Tim and his brother did, many years ago. “My oldest just graduated from college,” Tim said proudly. He is working at the supermarket during the summer, while his younger brother works at The Office, the restaurant next door, which Tim also owns.
Tim’s wife Sandy can usually be found in the grocery store these days. She worked as a nurse when Tim met her, but once the couple started to have children, Sandy wanted to be able to spend more time with them. She left her job as a nurse and came to work part time in the grocery store. The arrangement gave her plenty of time to stay close with her kids.
Today Tim and Sandy work hard with their staff at the Kennedy Supermarket. They continue to pour the time and devotion into the store that his father and Mr. Cross did before them. The store is located at the intersection of Route 394 and Route 62 in Kennedy and is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. To reach them by phone, call 716-267-2652 or visit their website at kennedysupermarket.com.
The Jamestown Gazette is proud to recognize our dealers, outstanding corporate citizens of our county. This week, the Gazette especially thanks Kennedy Supermarket for faithfully carrying The Jamestown Gazette, The People’s Paper, for the benefit of their customers, our readers.