By Christina Johnson
HOLMDEL – It’s official. Dearborn Market, the landmark farm market on Route 35 in Holmdel has been purchased by the Saker family, which operates ShopRite stores across New Jersey.
The long-rumored deal was announced today.
The Sakers plan to grow the business while maintaining the distinctive red barn specialty food market, garden center and retail farm located on Highway 35. The Luccarellis and employees will be retained and be part of the Saker organization.
The Sakers, who have been in the supermarket business for nearly a century said they purchased Dearborn Market with a strong belief in the products, recipes, traditions and team at Dearborn.
“Little will change at Dearborn Market, where we intend to maintain everything customers love about the market – including the Dearborn name. We also love the traditions, recipes and people of Dearborn and are proud to add Dearborn to our family of stores,” Richard Saker, president and CEO of Saker ShopRites, said in announcing the purchase. “Both the Saker and Luccarelli families have a history and background in fine groceries and delicious prepared foods, and we think this is a great way to pass the baton from one local, family-owned business to another.”
The Saker family has been operating grocery stores since 1916, when Richard Saker’s great-grandfather first opened a small mom and pop grocery in Freehold in Monmouth County. Richard’s father, Joseph Saker, grew up in Freehold and eventually took over the family business. Today, Richard, along with his brothers and son, represent the third and fourth generation of the grocery business as the owners and operators of 29 ShopRite stores and two ShopRite liquor stores in New Jersey.
The Luccarellis also have roots in the area. Frank Luccarelli founded Dearborn Farms in 1925, growing fruits and vegetables and selling them at markets in New York City. Son Dominick Luccarelli took over the business in 1955 and moved it to the current location on Route 35. In 1982, the family expanded a roadside farm stand by building the red barn and garden center that stands today. Dominick’s sons and daughter, along with their children, represent the fourth generation of a farming and food family.
Dearborn Market hosts an annual apple festival and community events such as pumpkin picking and scarecrow stuffing, all of which will continue under the stewardship of the Saker family.
“We have a sign in our office that reads, ‘The Family Tradition Continues,’ and that’s very true in this case. We wanted to make sure our Dearborn Market was in good hands for the future and we know we’ve made the right choice with the Saker family. This allows our market to move forward with a fantastic future,” said Frank Luccarelli, in a statement.
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