It’s not every day that you meet a family that is as passionate and dedicated to their business and their community as the Katz family. It all started in 1956 when Paul Katz started his business with a fruit stand in the Bronx. Katz was extremely motivated and worked diligently to deliver excellence and managed to save enough money to purchase his first small supermarket, also located in the Bronx. Katz was joined by his young son Sydney when he wasn’t at school. A couple of years after graduating college and working for another grocery store company in Manhattan, Sydney joined the business in 1962, and the father and son team was formed. Together, they built the company up to 7 grocery stores during the 1970’s and 1980’s and expanded from the Bronx to Queens. Today, PSK continues to be a family run business as Sydney’s two sons Daniel and Noah, who also worked in the stores on their days off from school, joined the company full time in 1987 and 1988. The third-generation brothers who are now co-presidents of PSK Supermarkets – Foodtown & Freshtown, continue to assist in the family tradition of hard work and superiority! With over six decades of commitment to their customers and staff, the family keeps a hands-on approach providing day to day support and operations. Sydney, Daniel and Noah along with their great team of professionals, continue the tradition of supplying the freshest products, quality service and the largest selection in town.

I had the honor of interviewing Noah Katz and gained such great insight into the grocery business. Like any other shopper, I browse the aisles, pick out the produce and try a few samples along the way before I check out. I never think about what goes into the day to day. As I speak to Noah, I wonder if those who are born into a family owned and operated businesses, feel the pressure or need to follow in the footsteps of their parents and in this case, their grandparents. When I asked Noah, he responded, “Daniel and I were actually pre-med in college. However, because we were both so entrepreneurial growing up, we decided to switch and join our father in the grocery business especially since we worked in the stores growing up. We always loved the business and being around people in our stores.  This was a natural progression and a decision my brother and I made on our own.” Needless to say, both Noah and Daniel are doing a tremendous job in not only growing the number of stores but with their commitment to their staff and shopping experiences that they provide for their customers. “Yes, our dedication to our team members is the key to our success. They truly are like our extended family and they are the ones that make things happen with us, each and every day. We are so grateful for their loyalty and hard work not only to us but to our shoppers!” 

I bet others wonder how you can get excited about groceries and fresh produce day in and day out. Is this truly a labor of love? “If you love what you do, then you never work a day in your life and this is really so true for me. Being out in the stores, communicating and connecting with our customers, coaching team members and helping bring value to our loyal shoppers, is the best part of my job.” I love hearing this. It is so refreshing when business owners are appreciative of their staff and enjoys interacting with their customers. “Definitely, a key to our success!”

As I sit across from Noah, I wonder how he and Daniel handle running such a large corporation and how they keep up with the changing trends and stay ahead of the curve. Noah and Daniel are leading experts in the supermarket industry for club card loyalty marketing. Although they spend most of their time operating the company with their team, they do act as consultants from time to time where they assist other retailers across the country, both large and small, on how to implement an effective club card loyalty marketing plan. When I asked Noah to explain the program, he quickly pointed out, “Many supermarkets use a club card and claim to have a loyalty program. PSK has one of the most sophisticated programs in the industry. We deploy a state-of-the-art technology that includes giving shoppers extremely valuable offers that saves them even more money in our stores. In addition, we have a strict policy of not sharing any data with outside companies. Shoppers can receive offers at the checkout lane, by email, direct mail and in the store. Customer relationship management has become a part of the fabric of the day-to-day operation. Each store has a customer relationship manager who is responsible for the loyalty program and communicating with customers, as well as the community at large. Our PSK loyalty program accomplishes the one major benefit that all other loyalty programs aspire to achieve: It shifts promotional funds, rewards and attention to the higher spending, more profitable customers. This program enhances the company’s bottom line profit in the midst of a very low-margin industry.” 

I went on to ask about the competition of online shopping and how they deal with the large conglomerates in this space. “It’s no secret that online shopping is here to stay and that just about everybody has made some type of purchase from the Internet. We are always making sure that we keep our company moving along with the industry trends, especially with regard to new technology. When you shop from our website, we assign a Personal Shopper who goes up and down the aisles and selects your groceries as if you were doing it yourself. If something is out of stock, your Personal Shopper will call or text you to see if you would like to select a different item. The Personal Shoppers will get to know you and you can feel good about the fact that we employ local people right from the community. A high majority of the mega-corporations are located outside of our region and therefore, jobs aren’t being offered to local people. This is an integral part of our DNA along with supporting local nonprofit organizations. Both Foodtown and Freshtown contribute in many ways as we realize the importance to help those in need. Moreover, we offer many saving incentives throughout the month for our regular shoppers so that assures us that we are helping families attain all of their grocery needs.” 

I know you spend many hours running the business and being hands on. How do you balance your work and family life? “It is a challenge at times, but I have such a wonderful partner in Deborah. She is a wonderful mother to our amazing two young children and a hard-working entrepreneur, so she understands the nature of the business. Deborah’s loving ways and hard-working spirit are two of her greatest qualities, which is certainly rubbing off on our kids as they’re growing up with the understanding that personal responsibility is an immensely important trait. I make the time throughout the year for family vacations and alone time with Deborah, which is extremely important to me. Our weekends are very special as we get to spend quality time as a family. When I’m home, I’m a hands-on dad and husband and I’m very lucky to have a supportive and wonderful wife who I love and admire.” Yes, you’re extremely blessed to have an incredible wife and amazing children, who I love and adore as well! “Yes, a lucky man indeed!”

I can only see a bright future for PSK as these dynamic brothers continue to bring their unmatched work ethic, new age ideas and outstanding services to their customers. You can feel confident knowing that when you shop at any of their stores, you’re giving back in many ways and are receiving the highest quality products, services and savings. 

It truly was a pleasure to gain such insight into your family history and I congratulate you on all of your hard work and success. The work of a king indeed! “Thank you and the pleasure was mine.”

You can follow Foodtown on their social media pages as they offer different incentives to their customers. Here are links to a few of their stores:

Super Foodtown of Harlem 

https://www.facebook.com/superfoodtownharlem/ 

Super Foodtown of Croton 

https://www.facebook.com/Super-Foodtown-of-Croton-on-Hudson-190649407934456/

 Foodtown of Bay Ridge 

https://www.facebook.com/foodtownbayridge/

You can also view their video below to get a better insight into the Katz family and their PSK family.    

https://vimeo.com/user15849742/review/141861593/3992328688

Photo Credit:

Photos by Daniel Marino