Tom’s Riverside Quality Foods is a locally-owned family business of three grocery stores and a pharmacy in Clarion County, PA with locations are in New Bethlehem, Knox and Rimersburg. We have been proudly serving the area since 1970.
Our Company’s History
Tom Ray Sr.’s career in the grocery business began while in still high school, delivering groceries for Acme Markets in the early 1940s in Indiana, Pa. After serving in the Navy in World War II, he attended the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown, then rejoined Acme and in 1949 at age 24 became a store manager in Brookville. In 1951, Paul Reitz hired Tom to join his fledgling chain called Riverside Markets. He started out as the produce manager at the Brookville Riverside but soon became a store manager, helping to open and manage larger and larger stores for Riverside in Clearfield, Johnstown and Sharon. When a Riverside franchise program was started in 1970, Tom was one of four corporate store managers to be offered a chance to own their own store. He was so successful at operating grocery stores, he later opened stores in Knox, Rimersburg and Ford City. Sadly, Tom Sr. passed away in 1998, but his philosophy of operating clean, well stocked and friendly stores continues to this day.
Tom Ray Jr. was born into the grocery business, being just five years old when his father opened the New Bethlehem Tom’s Riverside. His first job was cleaning the restrooms, but later was “promoted” to racking and stacking the cases of glass pop bottles and burning cardboard in the incinerator on stock nights. At age fourteen and throughout high school, Tom worked as stocker and packer. He attended IUP to study Business Management. During that time, he worked in the restaurant business, cashiered at a Riverside in Indiana and worked as a summer intern with Riverside, traveling with the District Manager, Department Specialists and spending time in the corporate office to learn more about the industry. After graduation, Tom entered the management training program for Weis Markets and with his experience was in management a short six months later. Upon spending a few years learning the trade with Weis Markets in Virginia and Maryland, Tom returned home to Pennsylvania in 1990 to start a family and return to the family business.
While Tom Jr. oversees the operation, the real stars are the store managers, department managers and dedicated Associates who take care of our customers every day. Many are long time employees, some having started with us when Tom’s Riverside began in 1970!
Our stores are in the capable hands of our managers, who have a combined 100+ years of grocery experience. Jeff Huffman started with Tom’s in 1980 at the New Bethlehem location and has moved up through the ranks, holding various positions throughout the store. He is currently the manager at the Knox store and assists in our Ad Planning. Todd Hepler began his career with Tom’s in 1981, also in New Bethlehem, and has been a steady hand as store manager at the Rimersburg store for over 15 years. Jeff McHenry is the newest manager on our team, coming on board in 2017, but brings with him decades of grocery experience while working with another local supermarket chain. He is currently the store manager at our New Bethlehem location.
Our Company’s Mission Statement
Tom’s Riverside will provide our customers products and services that meet or exceed their expectations. We will do this by offering high quality products at fair prices in a clean, modern store by friendly, helpful staff. We will treat our customers, fellow employee associates and suppliers as we would like to be treated. We will actively support the communities in which we serve.
- We offer the freshest meats at all of our locations; each with experienced in-house cutters who can custom cut your meat.
- Fresh Produce shipped in several time a week. We can create a fresh veggie or fruit tray for any occasion.
- A Bakery that bakes fresh bread and rolls daily.
- Lots of fresh meats, cheese and salads in our Deli.
- In our grocery department, we offer items that will appeal to all shoppers:
- national brands products when only the best will do
- our own Best Yet store brand which rivals national brands at attractive prices
- Valu Time products for the value conscious shopper
- Dollar Items for good quality at rock bottom prices
- A Pharmacy in our Knox location with a friendly, experienced staff who can fill your prescription while you shop as well as answer any questions you have about your prescription.
Tom’s Riverside continues to concentrate on what has allowed us to continue this long: friendly service, good selection, clean stores, fair prices and dedication to our communities.
We continue to support with donations or discounts local groups such as area clubs, sports teams, churches, school activities, local festivals, emergency services, Clarion County United Way, Clarion Hospital and the Clarion County Fair.