Dave’s Markets acquires Zagara’s Marketplace

The main entrance to Zagara's Marketplace. 

Dave’s Markets has acquired Zagara’s Marketplace on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. 

Zagara’s will close on Oct. 21. On Oct. 29, it will reopen as Dave’s Market and Eatery.

Dave’s Market in the Cedar Fairmount Business District will close on Oct. 25.

Dave’s is a fifth-generation family-owned and operated business, with three generations of the Saltzman family currently active in Dave's Markets.

David Saltzman, a fifth-generation member of the family, said, “We continue to believe in Cleveland Heights and we’re ready to deepen our investment in the city. We’re going to rebrand the new location as Dave’s Market and Eatery."

“Moving our operation from Cedar-Fairmount to the Zagara’s location on Lee Road will allow us to continue providing customers with the best possible service, selection and prices in a large location with amazing potential,” said Saltzman. “The Lee Road store was built to be a family-owned operation, and I’m happy to say it will stay that way."

Zagara’s, one of the last independent grocers in Cuyahoga County, opened in the city of Cleveland, moving to Cleveland Heights in 1988. 

John Zagara, owner and operator of Zagara’s Marketplace, offered thanks to his customers and employees for their support over the past three decades.

“There are very few large, single-location independent grocery stores left in the U.S. With limited buying power and the inability to scale-up operations in the same way a larger chain can, it’s always been a challenge to be competitive and profitable," said Zagara. "With the help of my talented managers and employees, and the tremendous support of our loyal customers, we’ve been successful. But anyone operating a business today knows that the current environment provides unprecedented challenges. By transitioning our store to the Dave’s family, we are assuring local ownership continues for the business we worked so hard to build.”

Local 880 of the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers International Union) will continue to represent both Dave’s and Zagara's employees. All of Dave’s employees at the Cedar-Fairmount store will be offered employment at the Lee Road store or other Dave’s locations. Employees of Zagara’s will be offered jobs with Dave’s.

Dave’s remains committed to operating its store at Severance Town Center.

Preliminary plans for a significant 2023 renovation of the Lee Road store include updates to décor, lighting and flooring, as well as enhancements to individual departments designed to improve the shopping experience.

"Zagara’s customers will continue to find the items they’ve always shopped for and more," said Saltzman. "In order to minimize customer disruption from the beginning, the store layout will be similar, and customers can look forward to finding items they were accustomed to, plus an expanded variety. Additional day-one enhancements will include extended hours across the store, Grandpa Dave’s famous fried chicken, made-to-order hot sandwiches, freshly squeezed orange juice, a new meat counter and more deli offerings.” 

“I couldn’t be more pleased to leave the Zagara legacy and the Lee Road store that I built in the hands of the Saltzman family. It will be an exciting place to shop, and I wish them every success as they make their vision for it a reality,” said Zagara.

Bruce Hennes

Bruce Hennes is a 47-year resident of Cleveland Heights. He was asked by the Zagara and Saltzman families to submit this article. Zagara's has been a client of Hennes' company, Hennes Communications, since it was conceived of and built at its Lee Road location.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 3:14 PM, 10.10.2022