WILTON, Conn. — Two managers at Village Market in Wilton Center received the promotion of a lifetime Monday after they became the new owners of the independent supermarket—a community staple for the past 78 years.
“We are very excited and proud to be able to carry on the Village Market legacy,” said Tim Dolnier, who purchased the supermarket with longtime employee Mike Picheco.
Dolnier and Picheco purchased Village Market from Peter Keating, president and store owner since 1989. They closed on the deal Monday and started in their new roles Tuesday, after Keating announced his retirement.
“It’s been a very busy but exciting day,” Picheco said, noting he and Dolnier held a series of staff meetings following the announcement.
Picheco, who manages the grocery, frozen foods and dairy departments, has been with Village Market for 15 years. A Monroe resident, he began working part time in 1998 and went full time in 2003.
Dolnier, a Wilton native, has managed the deli, prepared food and bakery departments for the past three years but has a long history with Village Market. His mother, Nancy, is the store’s vice president and general manager.
“My mom has worked here my entire life, so I kind of grew up around here,” Dolnier said. “I would help bag groceries when I was 6 years old and have been in and out of the store since high school in various roles.”
Despite their new roles as owners and co-presidents of the company, Dolnier and Picheco plan to continue managing their departments.
The store’s current management team, staff and structure will remain unchanged. This means customers will enjoy the same quality of service to which they have become accustomed.
“We’re fortunate to be able to transition into a position where Peter provided a very strong foundation to build on,” Dolnier said.
“What makes Village Market stand out is our high level of customer service and unique product mix, and we’re going to continue to build upon those things led us here now," Dolnier added. "We have a knowledgeable staff that has built relationships with customers, and we will continue to work with the community in the manner we have in the past.”
Village Market was founded in 1935 by the Piersall family and purchased in 1989 by Keating. A 1974 Wilton High School graduate, Keating started his career at the supermarket in 1975 in the meat department.
Keating could not be reached for comment Tuesday. However, in a statement, he applauded the purchase agreement.
“The best thing about this deal is that it provides for great continuity,” Keating said in the statement. “Continuity for the staff and continuity for the community that we’ve been fortunate to serve since 1935.”