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A special thank you to Frank Budwey

A special thank you to Frank Budwey for continuing to live up to his personal (and those of his parents and grandmother) high standards as a businessman and an employer and a North Tonawandan. Frank is giving ownership of 45 percent of his business to his 33 full-time employees and investing a $1 million into modernization for a solid future for our beloved Budwey’s. When he eventually retires, he plans to give the remaining 55 percent of ownership in the business he is still retaining to his full-time employees.

Budwey’s has served North Tonawanda and its residents for 90 years [and also for a time the City of Tonawanda, the Eggertsville section of the Town of Amherst, the Village of Kenmore and the Town of Newfane].

Ninety years is a long time for any business to survive, especially a family-owned one, and especially a grocery operation.

Frank’s family’s Lebanese heritage and their appreciation for the lives they were able to live in North Tonawanda cannot be separated from the “success story” of Budwey’s.

Frank Budwey is just a bit taller than me, and you all know I’m a semi-midget, but he is a veritable giant of a man because of the size of his heart and brain. I hear stories all the time of grateful residents, organizations, and other businesses who have been blessed by his kind heart. You can never go into Budwey’s and see him, without him recognizing you or not, taking time to listen to you. He often says he does things “the way the customers want it done” and he has always been loyal to North Tonawanda’s residents and has done great things for the city his grandparents came to for a new life. He has given jobs to so many people and their kids and grandkids over the years.

Just as our History Museum, which occupies the former Murphy’s store building has had numerous celebrations held by families for parents and grandparents who met while one or both in some instances worked for Murphy’s, Budwey’s has brought together many employees in marriage as well.

Frank Budwey himself came out to our first History Museum fundraiser before we had gotten our charter and donated a portable sign and a reasonable rate for the food items we were going to sell. He was made a charter honorary life member after our first year for his early support. We could not celebrate our annual anniversaries without cakes from Budwey’s bakery. They are a tradition with us. We had a Canal Fest booth for five years and a staple of our food offerings were Budwey’s donuts.

North Tonawanda has had many treasures among its people in the 206 years that people have lived in the area that is today’s North Tonawanda – and Frank Budwey is and always will be one of those treasures.

Donna Zellner Neal

Executive Director

North Tonawanda History Museum