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The 50th year, calls for celebration

The official anniversary date was in October, but to the Hennigan family, the whole year is worth celebrating. It's been 50 years that the First Street Nichols Market in Liverpool has been serving Central New Yorkers, and third generation owner Mike Hennigan said there's no limit to the custom service they provide.

With another year in the bag, the store was spruced up with eight new frozen food cases that shine in the bright lights of the family-owned market. No matter how many years go by, Hennigan said there will always be something "extra" done each year to improve the store.

"It's just like home, always something to do," he said as he greeted a customer pushing a cart nearby.

Hennigan said the personal touches to customer service and attention to consumer needs is what sets Nichols apart from the "chain stores."

"A chain can't cater to its customers the way we do," Hennigan said. "Our customers are amazed at the variety, and a lot of them say they can't find certain products someplace else."

In Hennigan's experience, a chain doesn't have the freedom to change prices as easily or react to produce recalls as smoothly. If there is a problem with a certain produce item, Hennigan said his store is capable of contacting producers to get a different that's fresher and in better quality rather than settling for whatever is on its way to the store.

The storeowner also boasted the meat department of which he said does fresh cuts on the spot without ever using frozen beef, poultry or pork. Hennigan said anyone can look at "chain grocery store's meat label" to find that it's pumped with sodium and other similar based solutions so that in can keep a longer shelf life. Although, there is a longer shelf life, "customers are paying for water in each pound."

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