Wyoming’s Witt Brothers changes hands

Camden Wyoming Market co-owner Larry Mola speaks with a customer on Monday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

Camden Wyoming Market co-owner Larry Mola speaks with a customer on Monday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

WYOMING — Bill Stubbs came in for some meat, and got a surprise instead.

The longtime customer hadn’t heard that after more than 40 years in business Witt Brothers Market was no more.

Early Monday afternoon, word still was spreading that Terry and Terrie Witt recently had sold the operation in the first block of West Camden-Wyoming Avenue.

The new owners of Camden Wyoming Market are Larry Mola, left, and Phyllis Spiering. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

The new owners of Camden Wyoming Market are Larry Mola, left, and Phyllis Spiering. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

The first day of the Camden Wyoming Market was well underway, with the same friendly employees in place to meet the regular customers moving steadily in and out of the store.

New co-owner Phyllis Spiering informed Mr. Stubbs about the change in management, and he quickly offered a warm congratulations and “good luck with it.”

Mr. Stubbs, of Dover, said nothing would change at his regular stop to shop for burgers of more than 20 years.

“This is a people store,” Mr. Stubbs said. “This has been a people store for a long time and that’s not going to change.”

Ownership past and present pledged the spirit of the place will remain the same, along with the hallmark attention to customer service and affordable prices.

“I have no desire in changing anything regarding the culture here,” co-owner Larry Mola said.

Early Monday morning the Witt Brothers Market sign had been removed from the store on Camden-Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming and the poles were awaiting the new Camden Wyoming Market sign to go up. (Delaware State News/K.I. White)

Early Monday morning the Witt Brothers Market sign had been removed from the store on Camden-Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming and the poles were awaiting the new Camden Wyoming Market sign to go up. (Delaware State News/K.I. White)

“This places is about a family-oriented, friendly, blue-collar culture. It’s agricultural. I don’t want to say it has that country feel but it’s got that charm to it.”

The new owners certainly know what customers have come to expect — Ms. Spiering worked for the Witts the past eight years, and Mr. Mola the past four.

“Both are hard workers, and they’ll be fine with this,” Ms. Witt said. “They also know we’re only a phone call away if they need us.

“We don’t want to interfere too much, will help when we can and then ease away from it.”

Mr. Witt, 62 years old, wouldn’t have sold to just anyone, and believes the new management will continue providing personal attention and a connection to its all-important patrons.

“This market has been enveloped in meat and grocery products but we’re selling service,” Mr. Witt said when asked what his philosophy of Witt Brothers Market had been.

“Serving the customers is the most important thing we do and we want to treat them the right way and keep strong relationships because they’re the ones who are keeping us employed and paying our salary.

The new Camden Wyoming Market sign at 113 W. Camden Wyoming Avenue went up Monday. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

The new Camden Wyoming Market sign at 113 W. Camden Wyoming Avenue went up Monday. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

“I’m sure (Phyllis and Larry) are going to be fine with keeping it going.”

The business name change was a request by the Witts’ children, who both live in Pennsylvania and worked as kids at the store that opened in 1975.

Mr. Mola said the new name “honors the community first and foremost.

“We’re a true market and it fits where we’re at. It’s not about who I am, but it’s about the community we’re in and what we provide to the customer.”

All taken care of

Ms. Witt said she arrived at the store just after 5 a.m. Monday just in case the new owners needed help opening a finicky safe and filling the cash registers, but it was all taken care of.

“I think they got up really early this morning,” Ms. Witt said.

Nearly 60, Ms. Witt said the first day of non-ownership was “bittersweet.

Camden Wyoming Market cashier Tim Warren speaks with a patron on Monday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

Camden Wyoming Market cashier Tim Warren speaks with a patron on Monday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

“We’re going to miss a lot of the people, but it’s time to slow down. For so many years our lives revolved around this market. Now I’d like to go visit my granddaughter and not worry about what’s going on at the store.”

The 25 full- and part-time employees at the Camden Wyoming Market will not be affected by the transition, Mr. Mola said.

Working a cash register at the front of the store on Monday, Tim Warren was interacting with a customer with a helpful back-and-forth banter that indicated business as usual.

“It’s going to be a small adjustment, but we’re all comfortable with it,” Mr. Warren said.

Standing nearby working another cash register Rose Resh, an eight-year employee, was not concerned about any changes.

“I enjoy the people who come in here and the people I work with,” Resh said. “It’s just a nice place to be.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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