Foresta’s Market, a longtime family owned and operated deli and butcher shop in Phoenixville, is approaching 80 years in business. The market is a customer favorite for fresh food, produce and meats sold in Foresta’s deli, butcher shop and traditional grocery section.
Despite the many oversized grocery stores that have opened in the area, Foresta’s continues to thrive in the community, due in large part to the loyal customers that support it.
“We kind of have that little small town niche,” said Chris Foresta. “We know are people. Even if it is a new face, you get to know them. We have our everydayers, we have our once-a-weekers. It’s a personal feel. A lot of us are family. You always have a familiar face, it’s not a new face every time you come in.”
The Forest family originally opened their store in 1934 in the borough of Phoenixville, before moving into its current location on the corner of Bridge Street and Pothouse road.
“It goes back to my great grandfather, but the actual store side of it was my grandfather,” said Foresta. “That was started in the early 30s... …originally on Church Street.”
In the early 1970’s, Foresta’s grandfather Jack, bought the current building and expanded the business, as both locations were open.
“This was actually a slaughter house, the field was where they kept all the cattle,” explained Foresta. “(My family) ran both for a little bit. My uncle Bill ran the downtown one and my grandfather, Jack, ran this one. There’s a lot more room compared to a little shop downtown. So it was just more official to have this one.”
Foresta’s also offers catering for events such as weddings, corporate events and backyard barbecues.
“The catering has really taken off well for us,” said Foresta. “Now with the economy the way it is a lot more corporate stuff is picking us up because they don’t want to pay the high dollar for bells and whistles when really they just want good food.”
He credits the family structure of the business as key to remaining a successful shop.
“We do stay involved a lot with the community. Having this family structure; you have the people who knew my grandfather, you have the people who know my father, now you have the people that know me. So you stay connected. You never get outdated.”
As a longtime pillar in the community, Foresta said he likes staying connected and networking with other local business.
“You get connected to other people, other businesses like caterers. We bounce off each other, we can work with them.”
Among the fresh foods made, Foresta said there are many customer favorites, including different sandwiches and the Italian and turkey hoagies. Cooked vegetables are also popular like broccoli raab and roasted red peppers, which can be used as side dishes. There is a convenient refrigerated case in the deli area with pre-packed ready-made food like pasta salads that customers can easily purchase. There are even prepackaged desserts for sale, like homemade chocolate pudding.
“(Our customers) like our chicken salad,” said Foresta. “Chicken cutlets; we fry up a breaded cutlet everyday with an Italian breadcrumb on it.”
Foresta commented that beef used in the shop is certified Angus from out west, and the pork sold is local. The chicken used in the shop is also local from the Delaware area.
Foresta’s employee Julia Grimaldi has worked in the market for almost three years and says she likes the people she meets. Compared to a larger grocery, Grimaldi says Foresta’s is more in touch with their customers’ needs.
“We get to know our customers more. We’re more familiar with who they are and what they want,” she said.
“They’re loyal,” added Foresta. “You almost become friends with all these people talking to you for 20 minutes in between shopping. You catch up.”
Foresta’s Market is located at 1098 W Bridge St., Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 19460. Reach them by phone at (610) 935-1777. For more information visit Foresta’s Market online at www.forestasmarket.com