May 28, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Six and a half months of hard work paid off on a picturesque Saturday afternoon on May 28, as Snyder’s Supermarket (2620 Independence Ave.) hosted the community at it’s renovated store for an official Grand Re-Opening celebration.
Snyder’s provided free family fun at the celebration, including pony rides, face painting, giveaways, music from Hot 103 Jamz, food samples from Lutfi’s fried fish, and hot dogs off the grill.
The supermarket was forced to close after being damaged in the October 12, 2015 fire that took the lives of Kansas City Fire Department firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh. The store remained closed until late April as the James family – who have owned Snyder’s since 2004 – worked to navigate an extensive restoration process.
“We lost our entire inventory. We had to put new refrigeration in, air conditioning, cash registers, you name it. We had to pretty much replace everything, and thanks go to my kids, who did most of it,” said owner Jerry James. “It’s a good feeling. Being closed six and a half months for the remodel and everything was a long time, but I think it’s going to be worth it in the long run for everybody.”
Despite the lengthy closure, Snyder’s elected to pay its staff for the entire duration. For James, that was an easy decision.
“That’s a no-brainer. That’s what Mr. Snyder would have done,” he said, referring to original owner Bill Snyder, from whom he bought the business 12 years ago. “These people need a roof over their head, and they need to eat also. It wasn’t tough for us to figure that part out.”
The ribbon-cutting celebration was officiated by 1st District Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner, who discussed the importance of the community continuing to patronize the refurbished Snyder’s. The grocery store has been a staple in the Northeast since it opened in 1972.
“The fact that they put money into the store, they’ve hired new staff, and they kept paying their staff even when it was closed, I mean, you just don’t see that out of a business like this,” said 1st District Councilman Scott Wagner. “That makes it that much more important that this community supports it.”
Northeast Chamber of Commerce and Independence Avenue CID president Bobbi Baker-Hughes noted the big crowds who turned up for a celebration more than half a year in the making, as well as the hard work by Snyder’s to make the Grand Re-Opening celebration a reality.
“It’s a true form of commitment,” said Baker-Hughes. “It’s a wonderful thing to see the neighborhood come out and celebrate Snyder’s Supermarket in their grand-reopening after such a long, tedious process.”
James said that he was somewhat surprised, but grateful for the tremendous turnout from the community.
“Oh, there’s more people than I expected. The more, the better,” said James. “It’s quite overwhelming. It’s awesome.”