News Release
 May 17, 2021
CONTACT: Kathy Sautter
716 635 5577

Williamsville, N.Y. – Since the onset of COVID-19, Tops has been at the forefront of protecting the community that it serves. From being one of the first companies in the area who implemented mandatory associate health screenings for all associates to quickly executing social distancing measures, and offering senior shopping hours Tops has been laser-focused on COVID-19 efforts since it became clear that the United States was going to be greatly impacted by this pandemic.

That same mobilization came into play when in January 2020 Tops was the first grocery store chain in the area to launch all 51 of its pharmacies to offer COVID-19 vaccinations. Rapidly Tops Pharmacists and the support staff in Tops pharmacies were brought up to speed on the policies and procedures in order to be able to provide the Moderna vaccine to anyone who met the state qualifications for vaccination.

“We hit the ground running as soon as we learned that we had an earlier opportunity to be part of the solution against the pandemic,” said Tops director of Pharmacy, Matthew Hamed. “We had to prepare our pharmacies to properly administer and store the vaccines, while setting up scheduling software in order to effectively and efficiently roll out vaccine clinics at our stores. It was a quickly moving target and required all hands on deck and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

However, the rollout wasn’t without its share of challenges along the way. With the initial demand for the vaccine and the ebb and flow of vaccine supply, to the ever changing parameters of who could get the vaccine and when, Tops flexed with each new caveat.

“It seemed that each day was met with new information from the State or Federal Government that we had to ensure that not only our associates had to be up to speed on, but our customers as well,” said Kristen Hanson, vice president of center store, our brands & pharmacy. “The entire team has been working so diligently these past several months and have been so passionate about getting shots in arms that I think it’s important to pause and acknowledge this important milestone of administering 40,000 vaccines. We’re made a remarkable difference in the health and well-being of our communities and we are energized to continue to do so.”

And the community has been recognizing the efforts being made by the Tops pharmacy team. From tears of joy after being given their vaccination cards to notes of gratitude, the accolades have been plentiful, including this one from this gentleman who was vaccinated at our Lancaster, NY store.

“Hello, I just wanted to give a compliment for one of your employees. I had an appointment to get the Covid-19 Vaccine at store #220. It was a really great experience. There is always some apprehension when getting shots, but this was one of the best experiences I have had. I really want to give kudos to your pharmacist, Katie Marcheson, who administered it. She was very friendly and nice. She explained everything thoroughly and made sure we didn't have any follow up questions. She made me feel at ease through the whole process. I just wanted to pass along this compliment so you know how awesome of an employee you have.”

Vaccine appointments are available at Tops Pharmacies for those 18 years of age and older who elect to be vaccinated. For more information or to schedule a visit

### About Tops Friendly Markets Tops Markets, LLC is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 157 full-service supermarkets with five additional franchise stores and is the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York. As a leading grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont, and with the support of 15,000 associates, our core mission is to help our communities flourish. We support programs that seek to eradicate hunger and disease; promote the education of our youth; and to ensure we reduce environmental waste and energy consumption while providing our customers with sustainably sourced, high quality products. For more information, visit


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