Geissler's Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Mar 21, 2023

Geissler’s Supermarket is proud to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. The multi-generational family owned and operated 7-store group has continued to focus on touting their local differentiation, which has paid off as they increasingly have become known as the community's most reliable source for innovative local products.

"We are incredibly proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Geissler's Supermarkets, and we couldn't have done it without the loyalty of our customers, the hard work of our employees, and the support of our local communities,” said Bob Rybick, president and CEO of Geissler's Supermarkets. “Here's to the next 100 years of providing quality products and exceptional service to our customers!"

Digital Pioneers

Not only is Geissler's thriving as a locally known independent grocer in their physical store, they have become digital pioneers in achieving an omnichannel presence.

Geissler's won the Digital Media Pioneer Award from IGA this year for their excellence in digital advertising optimization through the IGA Retail Media Network. Their commitment to digital continues to deliver, with one of their recent video campaigns gaining over 415,000 impressions.

This video from one of Geissler's video ad campaigns focuses on their connection to local farms. 

"Geissler's Supermarkets is a shining example of a company that understands the power of omnichannel marketing,” said IGA’s Director of eCommerce Sarah Rivers.

“Their unwavering commitment to delivering a seamless and personalized shopping experience across all channels is a testament to their dedication to customer satisfaction. By embracing IGA's Retail Media Network and leveraging data-driven insights, Geissler's Supermarkets has set the standard for excellence in omnichannel marketing, and their customers are reaping the rewards."

Company History

FS-AFGeissler-800x400Adolph F. Geissler, company founder, in front of the first Geissler's store, which opened in 1923. 

The company history began in 1923 when Adolph F. Geissler bought a little grocery store from his brother for $2,500, which was originally located on Main Street in Broad Brook, Connecticut. The storefront was on the first floor of a two-story building where he and his family lived on the second floor. At that time, it was called A. F. Geissler and the store carried dry groceries, canned goods, teas, coffee, sugar, and salt in bulk, which had to be packaged individually for each customer.

Back then, Geissler would drive his Model T Roadster around to each customer, collect grocery orders, return to his store to fill the orders, and then deliver the groceries. His grocery delivery concept was well ahead of his time. Geissler worked tirelessly to run his little store along with his wife Mabel (McSweeney) Geissler. It was a struggle to run a small business during the Great Depression and World War II, having to ration meat, butter, and mayonnaise, but they were able to survive. Being a family business from the start, Geissler's sister also helped run the store.

In 1949 Geissler bought his second small store called the Point Market, located in Warehouse Point, Connecticut. In 1955, he built a brand new store, replacing the previous location. At this time, he wholeheartedly embraced the new supermarket concept, growing the store's size from 5,000 sq ft to 9,800 sq ft. The store encompassed the left side of the current Warehouse Point Plaza and in 1970, the relocated to the right side of the plaza as the plaza expanded. Today, this store is known as the East Windsor location.

In 1966 Geissler retired and passed down his whole operation to his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and James Nilsson. Though retired, Geissler would visit the stores often to offer his advice and converse with the customers. Mabel Geissler passed away on March 7, 1980, and Adolph F. Geissler passed away a few years later on December 3, 1983.

In 1972 a second Geissler's Supermarket in Dexter Plaza in Windsor Locks, Connecticut opened. This location unfortunately closed in August, 1991 as the plaza owners were unable to upgrade the building to Geissler’s standards.

In 1974 a third Geissler's opened on Broad Street in Windsor, Connecticut. This store saw huge success and expanded in 1980. The family built a fourth location in March 1985 at Bank Street in Granby, Connecticut, and a fifth location in May 1988 at Sullivan Avenue in South Windsor, Connecticut.

As Geissler's Supermarkets moved forward, the family added new locations. Suffield Street in Agawam, Massachusetts opened in November 1996; Tunxis Avenue in Bloomfield, Connecticut opened in April 2006; and South Road in Somers, Connecticut opened in 2007.

After James Nilsson died in 1995, Mary took a step back from the business, passing it on to her children and eventually her grandchildren, who now operate the stores in seven locations throughout the Northeast. Mary passed away on January 16, 2021.

Geissler's Supermarkets Today

Today, the fourth generation of Geissler’s Supermarkets manage the family business led by Bob Rybick along with Eric and Ryan Nilsson and Andrew Rybick. A.F. Geissler’s great-grandsons share a passion for their family supermarkets along with the love and respect of the generations that preceded. The fourth generation honors the high quality, customer service-driven mission of the past with a Local Equals Fresh vision for the future.

The 7-store chain has clearly engrained their legacy within the community as the Connecticut General Assembly presented Geissler's Supermarket with an official citation for 100 years of service. 

"What you've done in 100 years is impactful for our little communities and we appreciate all you've done and all you will do in the next hundred years," Patrick McMahon, economic development director for the Town of Windsor, Connecticut said. 

The Connecticut General Assembly presents Geissler's Supermarket with an official citation for 100 years of service. 

As part of their 100th celebration, Geissler’s is updating their dress code, ditching ties and smocks in favor of more relaxed and comfortable t-shirts and polo shirts, said Rybick.

“We are also planning monthly specials in our flyer to continue the celebration yearlong as well as a larger event currently in the planning stage for customers and associates later in the year. Perhaps with an Octoberfest feel to honor our German heritage!”

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