EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — When Vidler's 5 & 10 opened in 1930, family and other merchants were betting it wouldn't last six weeks during the Great Depression.
Not only did the store survive, but it also weathered World War II, multiple down-turns in the economy, changing shopping habits, and now a pandemic.
"We try to treat people fairly in the store, both the employees and the customers, and I think that has kept us going through the years," explained Don Vidler.
The store is well-known for its large supply of funny novelty items that appeal to kids of all ages.
"It is just like Christmas. You walk in and tell them they can pick out anything for $2," said Julia Garvey, who was shopping with her 4-year-old granddaughter, Tessa.
Covid-19 did force the store to close for two-and-a-half months. It is now reopened and plans to fully restock shelves for the upcoming holiday season.
Vidler's was recently awarded "Trip Advisor's 2020 Travelers Choice Award" marking it as a top travel destination.
And for its resiliency, hard work, ingenuity and contributions to the American economy, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Buffalo District awarded Vidlers's the "Family-Owned Small Business of the Year Award" during a presentation in the store on Wednesday, September 23.
The award was given as part of National Small Business Week which runs September 20-26.
"This just tells other small businesses that you can do it. You can survive," said SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin Sciortino.
In addition, Erie County Legislator Minority Leader Joe Lorigo presented the family co-owners with a proclamation recognizing the store's achievements in overcoming business obstacles.