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Published: Tuesday, 2/24/2009

Stanley's Market in North Toledo aims for wider audience

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Now, Mr. Zychowicz, a 27-year-old Marquette University biology graduate, is leading an effort to take Stanley s 5 Star Market s popular kielbasa and other sausages to a wider audience.

We re the last of the Polish grocers left in the neighborhood, he said. One of our goals is to diversify so we can stick around for another three generations.

At a plant opened last spring not far from the Stickney Avenue market, the family produces Stanley s Market Grillers and other new sausage products for local restaurants, sports stadiums, and specialty grocers. Grocery store sales began last month.

The Zychowiczs (pronounced zehuvich) also sell over the Internet and hope to begin selling Stanley s Market signature kielbasa through grocers outside the Toledo area.

Determined not to cannibalize sales at the store in the hard-pressed north Toledo neighborhood, the family decided that the garlicky treat that is a fixture in many local homes during the holidays would not be sold through other Toledo area grocers.

That s an item that drives traffic to the retail store and back into the neighborhood, Mr. Zychowicz said. We want to do everything we can to keep traffic down there.

But the family is working with a Detroit distributor to get the kielbasa into out-of-town grocery stores.

People from all over northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan pour into the store each Easter for 30,000 pounds of kielbasa. The haul is even bigger at Christmas: 45,000 pounds.

The store opened in the 1930s. It was taken over by the Zychowiczs, who are longtime Toledo sausage makers, in 1955.

To carry out their wholesale strategy, Mr. Zychowicz and his father, Joe, formed a new company, Stanley s Market Brands LLC, and opened an 8,000-square-foot plant at 5132 Enterprise Blvd. in a building shared with heating and air conditioning concern Frische-Mullin. The plant, where four employees work a few days a week, makes most of the sausage sold at the store as well as sausage sold over the Internet and through other venues.

Walt Churchill s Market on Briarfield Boulevard in Maumee stocks five of the firm s sausage products.

They re very good, said Greg Daniels, meat manager. Most popular are smoked Cajun Andouille and an Irish style Bangers breakfast sausage.

The products are also sold at Kazmaier s 5 Star Market and Schorling s 5 Star Market.

Red, white, and black packaging carries the Stanley s Market name along with the store s logo that features a Polish eagle.

The firm s sausage also is sold at venues including Fifth Third Field, Glass Bowl Stadium, and local Jed s and Ralphie s restaurants

A six-pack of precooked kielbasa links sell on the firm s Web site, stanleysmarket.com, for $10.

It s quite a new venture, said Mr. Zychowicz s father, Joe, who oversees the retail store. It s a new road for us.

Contact Gary Pakulski at:gpakulski@theblade.comor 419-724-6082.



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