Over a century ago, in 1895, William Gerrity opened a small meat shop named Gerrity’s Market. The original Gerrity’s was located at 345 Railroad Ave. in the Bellevue section of West Scranton. A few years later, Joseph Hoban became a partner and the two men soon expanded the business to include two other stores. They worked together for several years to build their small local business until 1945, when Mr. Hoban decided to sell his half of the business to Mr. Gerrity in order to pursue other interests. Shortly after, in 1948, William passed it on to his three sons, Joseph, William Jr. and Thomas. By 1957, William Jr. had moved out of the area, and Thomas had passed away. Joseph Gerrity, now the sole owner, chose to continue his family’s business.
At that time, Gerrity’s delivered meat to customers all over Lackawanna County. Neal Fasula began his career with Gerrity’s when he was hired as a delivery boy in 1964. Working his way through high school at West Scranton and college at the University of Scranton, Neal became familiar with every aspect of the business. After graduating in 1969 with a degree in accounting, Neal worked in New York City. However, shortly after leaving, Joseph Gerrity’s shop burned down. Neal returned home and he and Joseph decided to open up another meat market as partners. A few years later, Mr. Gerrity retired and sold his half to Neal. Since then, the business has been in the Fasula family, but the one hundred year old Gerrity name has remained. In 2011, Joseph Gerrity passed away at the age of 97.
In 1980, Neal opened the first Gerrity’s Supermarket. The new store was the first Gerrity’s location to offer customers all of the products and services found in full service supermarkets. The building was located at 702 South Main Avenue in West Scranton. In 1987, the store was remodeled and celebrated its Grand Re-opening. The store still stands at that same location today, and is now the flagship of a nine-store business.
From the 1970′s until 1993, Neal worked very hard with the help of his mother, “Aunt” Mary, his wife, Joyce, and his sisters, Doxie and Rosemary to grow their family business. In 1993, that small one-store business became three stores when Neal added a location in Kingston and one on Keyser Avenue in North Scranton. The following year, Gerrity’s again expanded with the addition of a store on Meadow Avenue in South Scranton. Things were pretty quiet for a few years until 1997, when Neal completed a deal to acquire five more stores. This brought the total number of stores to nine.
Unfortunately, shortly after the first store opened, Neal Fasula passed away. His wife and sons were left with the responsibility of running the family business. “If it wasn’t for the help and support of the community, our employees, and our management staff, we never would have made it,” Joyce Fasula said. “Neal built an excellent support staff, and a good reputation in the area, and that carried us through.”
In July of 2006, Gerrity’s moved the store in Hanover Township to a newly renovated building in the Hanover Mall. The new location allowed for the addition of new services that were not available in the previous location. In what became the flagship store for the company, the store included a sandwich and pizza shop, a full service florist and a Pharmacy. The store also had completely new décor and became the blueprint for renovations at the other eight locations. All renovations are expected to be complete by 2013.
Today, the Fasula family passionately continues the business that began so long ago. Joyce Fasula, who is now better known as “Mom” remains the president and CEO with her two sons, Joe and Neal, assisting with the daily operation and administration of the company. Gerrity’s stands today as one of the oldest and most well known local businesses. The Fasula family attributes their success to the hard work of their father, Neal Fasula as well as Joseph Gerrity and his family. Most of all, however, they credit the support and loyalty of their one thousand employees and customers and communities of Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.