PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Wholey’s in the Strip District is celebrating 100 years in business this weekend. And, the family-owned business has a big party planned.
“We are having a parade at noon and the mayor is coming at one o’clock to congratulate the family and Wholey team, as well as dedicate 17th Street as Wholey Way,” Natasha Brody, of Robert Wholey & Co., said of the celebration.
But other than the street, what is the Wholey way? How has a company founded by Robert L. Wholey before World War I survived 100 years?
“I try to keep them focused on the customer because the customer is what makes it happen, it’s a daily reminder and teaching,” said Jim Wholey, the president of Robert Wholey & Co.
From salmon to sushi and scallops to shrimp, the third generation of brothers are actively involved every day in the business they learned from their dad.
“He asked us to participate in the business and instilled in us a good business and work ethic each day,” said Sam Wholey, of Robert Wholey & Co. “We were asked to contribute to the family business.”
From the early days in McKees Rocks to the current location in the Strip, things have changed. It’s more than simply seafood; meat and produce now are a big part of the store, yet caring is the constant.
“Be courteous. Be kind. Helpful. Try to suggest a seafood item or two, sell them what they need, sell them what they want – don’t sell them something they don’t want,” added Dan Wholey, the founder’s grandson.
And hopefully, for the thousands of customers who have come to love Wholey’s, the train will keep rolling for another 100 years.