News Release
 February 8, 2012
CONTACT: Katie McKenna

Company honors rich history, looks ahead to new future initiatives serving customers

Williamsville, NY – Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania, announced today that the company will commemorate its 50th anniversary with a year-long celebration. As part of the anniversary celebration, Tops will offer shoppers new promotions, exceptional savings, contests and events throughout the year.

Tops kicked off its 50th anniversary with a celebratory event at its Portage Road store in the City of Niagara Falls, NY. Tops’ history is deeply rooted in the Niagara Falls community and the first modern Tops supermarket opened on Portage Road in 1962. New York State Assembly Member John Cerreto, Niagara County Legislator William Ross, Niagara Falls Common Council Members, Robert Anderson Jr. and Charles Walker, and Niagara Falls Mayor, Paul Dyster were in attendance offering Tops both citations and a proclamation.

“For the last 50 years, Tops Markets has spent every day providing value, convenience, variety and fresh, wholesome products for our neighbors. That's a tremendous legacy we want to share,” said Frank Curci, president and CEO for Tops Markets “At the same time, we are looking ahead to how we can make our customers’ shopping experience even better for decades to come.”

Under Curci’s leadership the company has grown from a 71 to a 132 store-chain after its recent acquisition of Penn Traffic locations. Millions of dollars have been pumped into the local economies, thousands of jobs were preserved and hundreds of new jobs were created.

“A major part of our success is due to the sincere passion of those individuals who believed in Tops’ success – our associates,” Curci said..

"Tops has been a great neighbor in western New York, and I want to congratulate the company on a fantastic 50 years of business, said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer. “Tops’ commitment to its customers, its employees, and the communities that they serve is unparalleled, and should continue for at least another 50."

Tops Friendly Markets will launch its 50thanniversary year with various promotions and events. From now through March 25, Tops is giving shoppers more savings by offering 50 days of 50% off select name brand items.

Tops is also commemorating its 50th anniversary by introducing one new idea that the company will implement to make customers shopping experience better, every week for 50 weeks. Customers can view the list of ‘50 New Things’ on Tops’ newly re-designed website ( Shoppers can also submit their own ideas through Tops’ website on how Tops can make their shopping experience fresher and better than ever.

Also, new to Tops’ website, each day for 50 days one person who plays the TOPS Pop the Balloons game will be randomly selected to win that day's $50 TOPS Gift Card. All participants will automatically receive a TOPS coupon just for playing.

Throughout 2012, new product introductions are also planned as well as many new and innovative enhancements to Tops loyalty card, allowing customers an easier way to save during their shopping trips.

Over the past half-century, the important need for Tops to be a good neighbor has not diminished.

Tops continues to work with hundreds of local organizations as part of the company’s long-standing commitment to help to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves, just as the company did in the beginning. With a mission focused around helping to eradicate hunger and improving the quality of life for children, Tops donated nearly $10 million annually supporting various health, cultural, charitable and educational programs. In 2011 alone, Tops donated more than $4.5 million in cash and in-kind donations to regional food banks, $450,000 to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, $660,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and more than $440,000 to Salvation Army units.

How it all began- The story of Tops Markets began in the 1920’s when Ferrante Castellani and his family moved from a small village outside of Rome, Italy to Niagara Falls, NY where they opened their first grocery store. Ferrante’s sons, Armand and Alfred eventually took over the business and opened two more stores under the name Great Bear Market. In the 1950’s Armand met Thomas A. Buscaglia, owner of T.A. Buscaglia Equipment Company. He asked Armand to partner with him and Armand agreed to join Buscaglia in his venture.

Armand had a great passion for food, people and his community. He was also a visionary, experimenting with ideas that were far advanced for the times. Excited by the growth of modern-day supermarkets, Castellani and Buscaglia partnered with a group of independent Bells store owners including Leonard and Alfonse DiMino, among others who joined them as key partners in their early and expanding retail grocery enterprise.

In 1962, the group opened its first truly modern supermarket, 25,000 sq. ft. store on Portage Road in Niagara Falls, NY. That same year Alfonse DiMino suggested the name “Tops” and the team chose the name because they were determined to give customers the best shopping experience possible. In the lingo of the 60’s, that meant it was ‘tops.’

From humble origins under the partnership of a passionate grocer and a grocery equipment company owner, their passion and vision has evolved into a leading supermarket chain with more than 14,000 associates and 132 stores that stretch from northern Pennsylvania to beyond the suburbs of Syracuse.

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 132 full-service supermarkets – 126 company-owned and six franchise locations. With more than 14,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at


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