The Welsh family has sold its last two supermarkets in Marfa and Van Horn to the Porter Family of Andrews. Pueblo Markets, as the stores have operated the last 15 years, will conclude business this Friday, March 20.
Previously the stores were operated as Welshâ€™s Village Supermarkets, since their opening in Marfa in 1986, and Van Horn in 1989. Welshâ€™s opened its first store in 1926, in the old Highland Park area of El Paso.
Since that time, the family has operated stores of different formats throughout the El Paso region, West Texas, and Southern New Mexico. At one time, the Welsh family was the dominant Independent Grocer in El Paso with many locations, operating under the â€˜Big 8â€™ banner.
“With our stores becoming dated, my deteriorating health, and our inability to develop a solid fifth generation of family grocers, the responsible thing is to sell to a retailer who will better serve the communities that we love and have been a part of for so many years. The Porter family, long-time friends, and fellow Affiliated Foods members, will do a great job in Marfa and Van Horn,â€ said Joseph Welsh, Company President and CEO.
“On behalf of my parents, John and Mary Welsh, my wife Liliana and children, a simple Thank You for all these years is in order. So many young people got their first job at Welshâ€™s, learned a trade, or got a Welshâ€™s Scholarship to attend college. It was our pleasure all of these years to give back to such wonderful communities that supported us so much. We are thrilled that the Porter family will soon be serving you, improving the town stores and employing our local friends. We wish them all the success and hope youâ€™ll frequent their stores, and help keep the independent supermarket alive. It is important.â€
The Welsh family continues to own or have controlling interest in the SuperVend Corp., Four Leaf Properties, Ltd, and PNC Energy Group.
Trae Dutchover, Regional Manager for Porterâ€™s told the Advocate that the Porter family has made a commitment to Van Horn by providing customers with a variety of products, produce and meats that will be unique to this market (demographic).
Porterâ€™s Thriftways can be found in Andrews, Fort Davis, Alpine and soon in Marfa and Van Horn. Mr. Dutchover said that the companyâ€™s philosphy revolves around community involvement in terms of philanthrophy to the school, to food banks, to churches and other organizations.
Mr. Dutchover added that the Welsh family has been a staple of the independent family-owned grocery stores for decades, and that the Porters will continue that tradition.