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Andover Sparkle Market Shines As OGA 2024 Pinnacle Award Recipient

Andover Sparkle Market logo

The Ohio Grocers Association has named Andover Sparkle Market as the winner of its 2024 Pinnacle Award, small operator.

The awards recognize overall excellence in retail operations and are the highest honors given by the group. Winners are selected based on several criteria, including creativity, merchandising, innovation, human resources, community relations and successful operation. 

Owner Frank Romano and his team received the award March 2 at their store in Andover. In addition, the retailer was honored April 20 at the Ohio Grocer Association’s 125th Anniversary Celebration at the Estates in New Albany.

“The Pinnacle Award represents the best retailers in the grocery industry,” said Kristin Mullins, president and CEO of the OGA. “Andover Sparkle Market is exactly the type of member we take pride in, representing the independent grocer, well-known for service and quality, active in the community and a valuable participant in our association.”

Andover Sparkle Market is one of 16 Sparkle Markets operating throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. According to its website, the first Sparkle Market opened in 1955. The concept was created by four local independent grocers who sought to provide customers with friendly service, quality products and low prices. 

Located on “The Square” in the heart of Andover, this family-owned and -operated business has been a vital part of the Southeast Ashtabula County community since 1986. 

In addition to Andover, the county is dotted with small towns such as Geneva, Jefferson and Kingsville. With rolling hills, farmland and plenty of open space, the area also is known as Ohio’s wine county, with more than two dozen wineries. The northern part of the county lies along the coastline of Lake Erie and draws large numbers of visitors, many of whom shop at Andover Sparkle Market.

The market prides itself on offering the freshest selections available, according to its website. It prioritizes sourcing produce, meats and dairy products locally whenever possible. This not only ensures peak freshness but also supports nearby farms and producers. 

The store’s commitment to freshness extends beyond sourcing. It has a bakery that crafts breads, rolls and doughnuts daily. In addition, its in-house butcher shop offers a wide selection of high-quality meats, including family recipe Italian sausage – a customer favorite.

The store carries a curated selection of specialty items, including international ingredients and organic products, catering to specific dietary needs and preferences.

The hot food and prepared meals section is popular with busy families and those looking for a quick meal solution. It features a variety of options, including signature fried chicken by the bucket.

Andover Sparkle Market emphasizes friendly and personalized service. And whether it is the Andover location or another Sparkle Market, this collection of local grocery stores has given big chains a run for their money, remaining “big enough to serve its community, yet small enough to care.”

“You can’t succeed in this business without community,” Romano said. “This is a team effort, and our great team and wonderful customers have been important to our success.”

That success will continue to be a family affair. It’s time for the next generation to take the reins. Romano said he is handing the store over to his daughters, Michelle Romano and Kathy Sylvester, who plan on carrying on the family tradition.

[Related: Ohio Grocers Association Eyes CDL, Child Care Changes]

About the author

Carol Radice

Senior Content Creator

Carol joins The Shelby Report with more than 25 years writing for B2B magazines that cover the drugstore and supermarket industries. A Rutgers graduate, she earned her B.A. degree in journalism and mass communications more years ago than she cares to admit. She is thrilled to be working with such an accomplished team and to share her knowledge of the industry with Shelby’s readers.

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