Bugtown IGA

Courtesy of Tom Petrucci

Brothers Jim, left, and Tom Petrucci have sold their family’s longtime business in Burgettstown – the IGA grocery that will retain the family name.

They’ve endured two floods and a pandemic, coexisted alongside a tenant with Golden Arches and – until three weeks ago – were a Burgettstown staple for 70-plus years.

Now the Petrucci family is out of the grocery business.

Petrucci’s IGA still stands at 1412 Main St., but brothers Tom and Jim Petrucci have sold the business that their grandfather, Domenic, started in the 1940s. They turned over their store in April to Satish Dagar, a South Fayette Township resident who is pleased to be operating the only independent grocery in the Burgettstown area. Dagar is not changing the name.

“We’ve retired, but we’ll hang around for awhile to help,” Tom Petrucci said. “My brother and I are older and we have different issues.”

Until the siblings completed their final sales April 26, this was a third-generation business along Route 18 that describes itself, on its website, as “a full service market with freshly cut meats, a bakery and a deli with hot foods and catering for all occasions.”

Petrucci’s also has a loyalty card program, offers copier and fax services and sells Lottery tickets.

The store isn’t lacking for competition, to be sure. Two other groceries are operating nearby: a Family Dollar, which sits slightly to the south on Main, and a Dollar General a couple of miles away in Slovan. Yet Petrucci’s should be accustomed to battling for the food buck. For 14 years, the grocery has been under the same roof as a McDonald’s restaurant – which, from the four-lane roadway, is visible to the left of Petrucci’s.

A flood spurred by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 destroyed the grocery – then a Shop ‘n Save – but not the family spirit. Tom said they decided to rebuild on the site, which McDonald’s found attractive. With the assistance of grants and a Small Business administration disaster loan, a new building went up. Petrucci’s, now affiliated with the Independent Grocers Alliance, opened in August 2006 with McDonald’s as a tenant.

It is the only IGA-McDonald’s concept in the United States, according to Tom Petrucci. He said the building has 9,800 square feet of space, about 2,300 of it devoted to the fast-food franchise.

That was the second flood that imperiled Petrucci operations in Burgettstown. The first occurred in 1950, at the original location elsewhere in the downtown area.

Running a store for more than seven decades creates a flood of memories for a family, many of them positive. Domenic Petrucci launched the endeavor in the aftermath of World War II. Three sons – Lido, Eugene and Earl, the oldest of the siblings – kept the business humming. Lido, the father of Tom and Jim, and Eugene eventually became partners.

The Petrucci clan also owned a Shop ‘n Save in McDonald that closed in 1987.

Now the store continues to bear the family name, but without the family. The store is open daily, with truncated hours during the pandemic: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dagar, who also has a store in Florence, is expected to resume regular hours once the outbreak passes: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Dagar agreed to keep all of the Petruccis’ 30 employees on board, Tom said. Oh, and the new owner has that lease with McDonald’s.

It’s a changing of the guard at the IGA, and a time for Tom Petrucci, of Cherry Valley, and Jim Petrucci, of Burgettstown, to enjoy retirement. They, and their family, had a lot on their plates – while filling many plates – for seven decades.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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