Tuesday, 15 March 2011 17:01
“When someone walks through our doors, we want them to feel like they’re one of the family.” Gary Schiel explains one of the driving forces behind both Schiel’s Family Markets in Wilkes-Barre.
Gary, brothers Frank and Fred, and sisters Connie Schiel-Owca and Carlien Schiel Moleski spent most of their lives working in the grocery retail industry. While passing a dilapidated building in Wilkes-Barre 11 years ago, they decided to put their combined 80-plus years of experience into a store of their own.
“The building had been a supermarket,” Gary explained, “but it had been abandoned for more than 10 years. Only three of the existing walls were salvageable, the rest had to be rebuilt from scratch.”
Since opening that first store at 30 Hanover Street, the family members have taken great pride in providing quality products and superior customer service. Many of the homemade products offered in the store are made from authentic family recipes. They offer home delivery and off-site catering and at least one of the Schiel siblings is always on site to help at the original store and at the 7 George Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, location that opened five years ago and features a Wine and Spirit store.
“We chose the George Ave. location because it was another good neighborhood to serve,” Gary said.
Serving the community has been a priority for the Schiel family. Gary said family members are involved in many community groups in the neighborhoods in which they grew up.
Both stores provide fund-raising opportunities for community groups. The Boy Scouts, school bands, church groups, and others often hold hot dog sales in the store parking lots. Schiel’s donates the products and the groups keep the money they make. The stores also host an annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand and festival in their parking lots to raise funds for cancer.
Shown in photo above: Gary and Fred Schiel
Visit the Schiel’s website at www.schielsmarkets.com.