Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Washburn Street Meat Market has served Lockport and the surrounding community for more than 100 years. For 40 of those years, Don Kaufman served customers as both the store’s owner and operator.
“I bought the business from someone else who was here probably 40 years,” Kaufman said. “When I first bought it, they were selling very little prepacked or cooked roast beef for parties.
“Of course the demand then wasn’t what it is now,” Kaufman said, noting how that area of the business has “increased 10-fold” during his time as owner.
The roast beef, and particularly the beef on weck sandwiches, that are sold at the market are quite popular.
“We’re pretty known for our roast beef, and some days the sandwiches just fly out of here,” Kaufman said. The sandwiches were also a product addition he made.
With 40 years of community service behind him, Kaufman recently made the decision to sell the business. Former customer Gabe Szell closed on the shop this week, and along with his son, Gabe Jr., will take over the Washburn Street Meat Market full time.
“It was time to sell,” Kaufman said. “I’m not getting any younger. This opportunity came along, we started negotiations in mid-June, and we came to an agreement.”
Szell said the sale was a long time coming.
“Don and I spoke about this years ago, but it just wasn’t the right time,” Szell said. “He approached me a few months ago to see if I was still interested because it was time to retire, so everything just collided.”
Szell pointed to Kaufman as someone who has become a friend over the years. He also praised the reputation Kaufman built for both himself and the market.
“This may not be the biggest store on the block, but the meat here is superior; we sell a higher grade of beef,” Szell said.