West Point Market traces its roots back to 1936 during the languishing days of the Great Depression. John Seiler, a butcher by trade, had built a loyal customer following at the Highland Square Market. It was there he met Harold “Slim” Vernon, who had learned the produce business from the ground up, and Harry Anderson, a clerk who was great with the customers.
With a $500 investment from each, Seiler, Vernon and Anderson formed a partnership and purchased a grocery store at 577 West Market Street in Akron Ohio. Located at "the point" where Market Street and Merriman Road converge, they re-named the store The Point Market.
From that improbable beginning when economic times were forcing other businesses to close, The Point Market quickly outgrew its retail space. In 1940, the partners built a new 3,200 sq. ft. building on the western edge of the city at Market and Hawkins streets. That fall, the store moved to the new site and was renamed West Point Market. By 1946, the store expanded, doubling its size. Since that time the store has undergone 6 expansions and 29 remodels.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Harold Vernon's son Russ was interested in pursuing his own dreams, but in 1962 he accepted an invitation to join the business. At that time only retailers in major metropolitan areas had realized the coming popularity of fine wine, imported cheeses and specialty foods. Russ persuaded the partners to introduce a variety of those products.
Because of that commitment and vision, West Point Market quickly became recognized as one of the leading specialty food stores in the nation. A reputation for outstanding gourmet selections, delectable fresh and prepared foods, and incomparable customer service continued to grow as the company expanded.
As sole proprietor of the family business, Russ broke ground in 1986 to expand the store to 25,000 square feet. It allowed for the addition of oven-ready meats, seafood and improved facilities to create made-from-scratch baked goods and prepared foods. Fine china, gift baskets, gift-wrapping, flowers, fine chocolates, Kitchenworks, fine pastries and a sit-down café were also added at that time. Additional parking space and extensive landscaping improvements were added to the surrounding property.
In the following years, West Point Market continued to expand and renovate to serve customers. 2001 was a year of exciting changes with the Deli and prepared foods department expanding again to accommodate the growing demand for signature prepared foods. A brand new 75 seat Beside the Point Café was also built.
Today the West Point Market is guided by a third generation of the Vernon family. As owner/partner's, CEO Rick Vernon and President Larry Uhl both guide the company’s focus to insure West Point’s commitment to an exceptional customer experience.
Always changing, hopefully improving, but never forgetting its 75-year past, the West Point Market always was and will forever remain “ A Market Like No Other.”