Village Grocery and Deli, 800 Morgan Highway, South Abington Township, closed its doors Dec. 31 after more than 30 years of business in the Abingtons.
Eleanor Rechlicz, 86, of South Abington Township, owner, and her late husband Gene Rechlicz, opened the business in 1981 at 705 Clinton St, Waverly, where the Waverly Deli now operates, according to their daughter, Jean Rechlicz. The business moved in 1989 to the Morgan Highway location, renovating the former Sampson’s Garage.
“Few people would have realized a garage could be turned into a deli,” said Jean Rechlicz, “but my mother did.”
Eleanor Rechlicz said when she initially came on board with her husband in the business, she had three children in college and one at home, and enjoyed her time there getting to know the customers and the community.
Jean Rechlicz said she and her sister Laura Notarianni took over running the deli in recent years, with the help of other family members, including Laura’s triplet daughters, their sister Nina’s one girl and three boys, who came from New Jersey to help out over the summer and their brother David and his family from Montrose. Eleanor Rechlicz has a total of 12 grandchildren.
The closing of the family business originated from a combination of factors, Jean Rechlicz said, the two main ones being a desire of the sisters to spend more time with their mother at home, and the poor condition of the economy.
“We don’t have the time anymore,” she said “to give it all our time and effort.”
She said the hours spent there throughout the years, however, were special.
“We enjoyed the holidays, getting the potato salads ready,” she said. “My mother catered a wedding once. We enjoyed taking care of the special times in people’s lives.”
The business was also a popular coffee stop for people commuting to work in the morning from and to Scranton. Although the property is not yet sold, Jean Rechlicz said the family observed much interest expressed from the community in the building opening back up as a similar business.