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Stratford grocery store has new owners

Stratford grocery store has new owners Stratford grocery store has new owners

Krauses owned it for 84 years

The Davel family of Stratford owned and operated Davel’s grocery and hardware store in the heart of Stratford for 84 years until the middle of this April. Co-owners Ken and Mary Kraus and her brother, John Davel, sold the grocery business in the building they still own to Stratford residents Andrew Cveykus and Gordon Rundle.

Andrew Cveykus and Gordon Rundle began operating the grocery store they now own on April 15 under the new name Stratford Family Foods. Rundle manages the meat department and deli in the grocery store. He also was in charge of the meat department when Andrew and Tonja Cveykus owned Great Lakes Fresh Market in Spencer. Andrew Cveykus previously managed Gordy’s Market in Spencer before it closed. There is no longer a grocery store in Spencer.

Mary Kraus is ecstatic Andrew Cveykus and Gordon Rundle wanted to purchase her family’s long-standing grocery store. Rundle worked for a while in Davel’s meat department and deli before assuming ownership of the grocery store with Andrew Cveykus. The new owners have re-arranged grocery items in the store but they are continuing to sell the same donuts, broasted chicken and Friday fish fries the previous owners had while also adding new grocery items for their customers.

“It was a good thing new people, who just happen to be Stratford High School graduates, now own the grocery store because otherwise there would no longer be one in Stratford,” she said. “We hope everything works out for the new owners and people choose to buy local from them.”

Mary Kraus and John Davel’s greatgrandfather, John Davel, began the family’s ownership and operation of the grocery store in 1936 when he bought it from the Connor family that owned Connor Lumber Co.

The Connor family started R. Conner Store in 1892, which was known as the “Company Store” so its sawmill workers and their families could buy food and other supplies they needed in their homes.

Mary Kraus and John Davel’s grandfather, George Davel, later owned the grocery and hardware store until their father, Arthur Davel, and uncle Reuben Davel took over ownership of the store. After Ken and Mary Kraus got married, they lived in Janesville for 11 years while Ken worked at the General Motors plant there. When her uncle Reuben Davel wanted to retire from the grocery store, Ken and Mary Kraus moved back to Stratford to buy Reuben’s ownership share of the business in January of 1973.

“This building that has the grocery store in it was my home for 47 to 48 years, because I grew up with my parents living in one of the upstairs apartments, and then Ken and I lived in an upstairs apartment in the building for a while after we moved from Janesville back to Stratford,” Mary Kraus said.