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Frankie & May Fresh Grocer

PASA Business Member Since 2012
Frankie & May Fresh Grocer
Christine Grady & Amy Cuzzola-Kern
Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie County

Founded by friends Amy Cuzzola-Kern and Christine Grady (on the right in the attached photo), Frankie & May Fresh Grocer aims to change the way Erie shops for food. “We started working on the business plan for Frankie & May about two years before opening the store. We knew that we wanted to focus on local produce and local farmers for a number of reasons; it's more environmentally friendly, there's an abundance of wonderful produce grown locally that isn't all that easy for consumers to access and it was important to us to support the local community and economy – oh, and it's better for you," remarked Grady.  

“Amy and I are both new to the retail food industry, and we saw the potential in PASA to provide us with resources that will really help us to connect with the farming community.  PASA has been invaluable in terms of providing advice and putting us in contact with local farmers for particular products that we had been struggling to source. We know that, moving forward, PASA will continue to be a great resource for us, and the impact they have in raising awareness to the Buy Fresh Buy Local® campaign will be a tremendous support for our business.  The great thing is that we can always run ideas by PASA staff, and they are able to provide us with advice and resources to help guide us in our growth strategy.”  

As a business owner and a retailer, Grady says that the Frankie & May business model has to be sustainable. “Essentially this means building a successful business. Part of that success is dependent on sourcing the right products and produce for our store. While we want to work with as many small, local farmers as possible, this can also be labor intensive for us. Fresh produce is just one category in our store, we also carry a full range of meats, dairy, deli and grocery items, and are now starting to introduce more in terms of prepared foods - and we have cooking classes!  As you can imagine we have our hands full, so the support provided by PASA is very gratefully received.” 

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