Celebrating 25 Years of Success

October 17, 2013 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 3:14 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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October 17, 2013 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 3:14 PM EDT

Clarence, N.Y. (WKBW) - Cookie cutter, jellybeans, pans.

Rolling pins, cookbooks, glasses.

These are just some of the items found on these shelves.

”The Podge is the Hodge Podge. That was our original name and we have a little bit of everything,” Owner Nora Drogi said.

The Podge is celebrating a milestone in the community.

“My husband Roger Bicker started this over 25 years ago. We started in a different location. This was the old Pillar and Post Restaurant. When that burned down nothing was left except for the fireplace so we build this building around the fireplace,” Owner Becky Vara said.

Sadly, Robert passed away two years ago. That empowered his wife Becky Vara and long-time employee Nora Drogi to take over the company. They hired Colleen Dressel to help them revamp the store.

“Instead of trying to have everything we said why not have things that we absolutely love,” Dressel said.

This weekend they will have the grand reopening of the store but what has made them so successful for 25 long years? They said they always have the most up to date cooking items.

“Every day someone comes in the store and says I saw this on the Pioneer Chef, the Food Channel was doing this and Paula Deen was doing that. Do you have this spice. We go over to our shelf and get it,” Drogi said.

Vara said they make changes regularly.

“Everything is changing so to stay current and open for over 25 years we keep changing our merchandise,” Vara said.

The most important key to success, they say are the relationships with customers.

“We take a special interest in everyone who walks through the door. If they want something special we order it and we try to stay one on one,” Vara said.

Drogi said their customers are treated like one of their own.

“We are family here, even though we're not related and we treat our customers like family,” Drogi said.

The women said there is one big change that has come with the reformation of this business.

“One thing that I think is very special and proud. Women own it, women running and owning it. There is an advantage for the type of business we run and we make it special with a woman's touch,” Vara said.

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