An institution in Watertown will be closing later this year when Russo’s market closes its doors after more than 100 years since it started business as a farm.
The announcement was sent out by the store on Sunday, Aug. 15, on Facebook, and a statement was also posted on the Russo’s website.
A Facebook post said that Tony Russo will be retiring later this year. He recalled working with his grandparents on the farm and his father and uncle at the wholesale warehouse.
The fixture in the Westside of Watertown, at 560 Pleasant St., sells produce, baked goods, has a deli, a flower shop and sells a variety of plants. It also is a favorite place for those getting trees at Christmas and pumpkins at Halloween.
Below is the letter from the Russo’s website.
To our Devoted and Loyal Customers
After more than 70 years working for the family business, Tony Russo is retiring.
Our business will close this fall.
It has been Tony’s privilege to serve our many wholesale and retail customers for seven decades.
Our business began as a small farm in Watertown more than 100 years ago. Every day at Russo’s – while surrounded by fresh produce – Tony is reminded of working alongside his grandparents on the farm and later, of working alongside his father and uncle at their wholesale warehouse. Their work ethic became his inspiration. Throughout the years, Tony has worked in all areas of the retail and wholesale business including trimming vegetables, driving trucks, loading and unloading trailers, putting up wholesale orders, sweeping the floor, buying produce and overseeing the most subtle details of the retail store. At any time, customers can find him involved in the displays of the fruits, vegetables, flowers, bakery, deli, cheese and garden departments. His days begin around 3:30 AM and end after 8 PM.
Tony has treasured watching generations of families shopping together as they choose their first spring vegetable plants, or the first local apples of the season and as they shop for Christmas trees (with classical music playing in the background, of course).
Tony deeply appreciates and will truly miss the employees who have worked everyday, sometimes outside in the harshest of weather conditions. These employees represent the backbone and the energy of the Russo’s environment, and their efforts will never be forgotten.
We cannot overstate Tony’s dedication to the world of fruits, vegetables and flowers. We also cannot overstate his dedication to Russo’s wonderful employees, customers, growers and suppliers. And we cannot thank Tony enough for what he has brought to so many people’s lives.