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Foodarama in Madison to close after decades of catering |

Foodarama in Madison to close after decades of catering

Mallory Short of Youngwood is going to miss playing in icing all day.

She was busy Friday piping whipped cream icing onto a wedding cake. It is one of two weddings that Foodarama, a mainstay on Madison’s Main Street, will cater this weekend.

It will also be the business’s final two. Foodarama closes for good Saturday.

“I have two weddings (today), and I’ll come back for one more 120-person party in November,” said Dave Nowalk, who has owned the business for the past decade. “I’m going to be 65 years old here pretty soon, and it’s getting to be time.”

The owner of the Main Street property is not renewing Foodarama’s lease, and Nowalk said he doesn’t feel it would be worth it to move.

“It’s expensive moving a commercial kitchen, and everyone caters now, even little restaurants,” Nowalk said. “At one time, this was one of the premiere caterers in the area, but the competition is more and more every year.”

Ron Rich Jr., director at Beatty-Rich Funeral Home, got his first job working as a Foodarama caterer on the weekends.

“It was awesome,” he said. “Everyone was great. Every weekend they had weddings and there were quite a few people here in Madison who worked there. It was that little job that really helped a lot of people out. Without it, a lot of older folks might not be where they’re at today — that extra money working on weekends really helped.”

The sign out front says Foodarama was established in 1975. Prior to that, it was Morrison Service Station, a neighborhood grocery store and gas station.

“It was eventually bought by Shirley Kroll and her family, and they operated a deli there,” said Ron Rich Sr. of Madison. “One of the family members came in and started the catering business, and they did business all the way down in Pittsburgh for a lot of years and for a lot of big companies.”

Short said that while she will miss the icing, it’s the customers she’ll miss the most.

“We have such a great community here,” she said. “My grandparents live just up the road. It’s a small community, but everybody supports everybody and it’s just so nice.”

Nowalk agreed that he will miss his customers the most.

“As much as you might squawk about them from time to time, it’s been a lot of fun,” he said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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