‘I cried’: Russo’s in Watertown closes after more than 100 years in business

WATERTOWN, Mass. — A family-owned Massachusetts market that has been in business for more than 100 years is officially closed. Russo’s in Watertown was open for the final time from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Last month, owner Tony Russo announced that he would be retiring after working more than 70 years in the family business….

A family-owned Massachusetts market that has been in business for more than 100 years is officially closed.

Russo’s in Watertown was open for the final time from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Last month, owner Tony Russo announced that he would be retiring after working more than 70 years in the family business.

The business began as a small farm in Watertown over a century ago and offered fresh fruit, vegetables, organics, flowers, plants and more.

“I cried before I came in. I made myself look OK, and I’m going to cry more,” said Inna Konyavsky. “We came to the country back in ’94 and this was the first store we were introduced to, so I’ve been coming here for those times all the time.”

“Especially for the past year and a half, we’ve been working from home and it’s been so nice to be able to take a 10-minute stress break and run across and grab some fruit or do a little bit of grocery shopping,” said Anna Basevich.

“I moved here four years ago and the first thing someone said is: ‘You’ve got to go buy your Christmas tree at Russo’s.’ So I have really fond memories of bringing our family and buying our Christmas trees,” said Katherine Kranenburg. “I was very sad for the workers here. They all seem like they’re very united and I just thought about them and where they’re going to go. It’s like a family.”

Tony Russo, the owner of Russo's in Watertown, Massachusetts, takes a picture with a customer during the market's final day of operation on Sept. 18, 2021.
Hearst Owned

Tony Russo, the owner of Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, takes a picture with a customer during the market’s final day of operation on Sept. 18, 2021.

Tony Russo had worked in all areas of the retail and wholesale business throughout the years with his days starting at about 3:30 a.m. and ending after 8 p.m. He worked alongside his grandparents on the farm and later with his father and uncle at their wholesale warehouse.

He told NewsCenter 5 that he feels sad when reflecting upon the decision to close Russo’s, but he is glad to have served his customers and the community throughout the years.

Russo’s entered the national spotlight when an employee, Gilly Assuncao, stunned shoppers and fellow workers with his singing voice during the 2017 holiday season. He was later accepted to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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