After immigrating to Milwaukee from Sant’Elia, Sicily, the Balistreri family began peddling quality fruits and vegetables by horse-drawn wagon. This began on the northeast side of Milwaukee, and eventually led to the opening of produce markets on Oakland and Downer avenues. In 1949, Grandpa Tom Balistreri — simply and affectionately known at Sendik’s as Mr. B — opened a third Sendik’s fruit and vegetable market on the corner of Silver Spring and Lake drives in the heart of Whitefish Bay. The store became known for honesty and integrity in treating customers and suppliers with courtesy and respect. The business flourished.
Before long, Tom was joined in the business by his two sons, Ted and Tom Jr. In the early 1970s, the brothers took over the operation, and in 1975, the store expanded to include groceries, meat, deli, dairy, bakery, and wine and spirits. During this time of growth, the store’s reputation for quality products and customer service grew, drawing customers from all over Milwaukee and surrounding communities. In 2001, the third generation of family owners began building on the strong, 75-year history Sendik’s had established in the community as the trusted, local grocer.
Ted’s sons — Ted, Patrick and Nick — purchased Tom Jr.’s interest in the Whitefish Bay store that year, and along with their sister Margaret, have continued to expand the business. They currently own and operate Sendik’s stores in Bayside, Brookfield – The Corners, Elm Grove, Franklin, Germantown, Grafton, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Hartland, Marquette, Mequon, New Berlin, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, West Bend and Whitefish Bay. Together they carry on the tradition set by Grandpa Balistreri of combining quality products with exceptional customer service to offer the best grocery shopping experience, period.
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