Boyers Market and Catering closes after 72 years in business

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Boyers Marketing & Catering closed its doors for good on Christmas Eve.

A member of the Boyer family has operated a store on Route 662, also known as Old Swede Road and Old Airport Road in the village of Amityville since 1949.

The building had housed a general store since around 1843, but COVID-19 and a labor shortage put an end to activity there.

“Things got worse after the pandemic,” said Harriet F. Boyer, who began operating the business at 1104 Old Airport Road with her late husband, Harold S. “Butch” Boyer Jr., in 1960. ” We couldn’t do any catering during the pandemic and we did more business with it than in stores. ”

Harold S. Boyer Sr. in the general store he opened in 1949 in Amityville. His son, Harold S. “Butch” Boyer and his son’s wife, Harriet F., purchased the business in 1960. Boyers Market & Catering, 1104 Old Airport Road, Amity Township, closed permanently on December 24, 2021 (Courtesy of the Boyer family)

Butch’s father, Harold S. Boyer Sr., purchased the store’s property in September 1949.

Boyer said he sold the business to his daughter, Marcy Woods, a year after Butch died in 2013. Woods bought the business for his daughter, Kara McQuaite, but things did not go as planned.

  • Lauren A. Small

    Owner Marcy Woods serves portions of Irish pasta with vodka while her son Keon Woods and daughter Kara McQuaite help out in the kitchen on Saturday at Boyer’s Market and Catering. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Reading Eagle: Ben Hasty

    Kara McQuaite, fourth generation owner of Boyers Market and Catering and its general store and restaurant manager, prepares samples of Chicken Pot Pie at the Bite of Berks event on September 23, 2019 (Ben Hasty – Reading Eage)

  • Lauren A. Small

    Owner Marcy Woods serves portions of Irish pasta with vodka while her son Keon Woods and daughter Kara McQuaite help out in the kitchen on Saturday at Boyer’s Market and Catering. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Boyers Market and Catering, 1104 Old Airport Road, had been a landmark in Amityville for over 70 years. Harold “Butch” Boyer Jr. and Harriet F. Boyer took over the business in 1960 from the building at the intersection of Route 662 and Old Airport Road. The photo taken on December 23, 2021 was the day before the business closed. (SUSAN E. MIERS SMITH – EAGLE READING)

  • Lauren A. Small

    Seating places on Saturday at the Boyer market and catering. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Portions of Guinness Stew lined up on the counter on Saturday at Boyer’s Market and Catering. This week’s meals are all Irish themed. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Keon Woods makes a tuna salad on Saturdays at Boyer’s Market and Catering. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Corned beef and cabbage on Saturdays at the Boyer market and caterer. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Saturday at the Marché Boyer et Traiteur. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Keon Woods adds cheese to Irish vodka pasta portions on Saturdays at Boyer’s Market and Catering. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Keon Woods photographs Irish Vodka Pasta for the Saturday at Boyer’s Market and Catering website. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

  • Lauren A. Small

    Owner Marcy Woods prepares portions of Irish pasta with vodka in the kitchen on Saturday at Boyer’s Market and Catering. Photo of Lauren A. Little 3/10/2018

Boyer said her granddaughter had increasing physical limitations that made it difficult for her to do the job of running the business due to a congenital back problem that had worsened.

“Our cook who had been with us for twenty years passed away in June,” said Boyer, noting that the cook had moved to Louisiana to be closer to her son and grandchildren.

“Things are not going well,” Boyer said. “You can’t hire anyone. “

She said her grandson was helping with the business, but had other activities.

Boyer never retired. She has continued to keep the company’s accounts since 2014.

“I’m going to be 80 on January 3 and just finished,” Boyer said. “He just took his course. “

The impact of the store, or more specifically the people who worked there, on the community will not be forgotten anytime soon.

“In 1972, I went to work for Harrold Boyer Jr., or Butch, and then I joined the Air Force in 1975,” Steve Ebling wrote in an email Tuesday. “I mainly worked in the new Butch store in Douglassville, which he opened in ’72. I can’t begin to tell you how many trips I made between the two stores to transport all kinds of cargo / cargo. And it was Butch who got me involved with the Amity Fire Company.

Ebling is 65 and now lives in Littleton, Colorado, but moved from Reading to Amityville in 1962. He has lived in Colorado since 1979, but says he still fondly remembers the village and the man who guided so many young employees.

After Butch Boyer’s death in 2013, several former employees said Reading eagle journalist Mike Urban, they called their teenage years of market work attending “Boyer University” because of the life lessons he gave them in addition to teaching them how to slice meat and operate the cash register.

For others in the community, the comfort food provided by Boyers will be sorely missed.

Ralph Swoyer, 51, of Amityville said he couldn’t remember exactly how many famous Boyers hoagies he bought as he took a lunch break after mowing Amityville Cemetery when he was a teenager.

“Buying stamps there when I was a kid with my dad and making sure we had Boyers Pepper Cabbage for all of our holiday meals,” were two other memories Swoyer said he had.

Courtesy of the Amity Heritage Society

The Frank M. John General Store on Route 662, also known as Old Swede Road and Old Airport Road, circa 1923. Harold S. Boyer Sr. would eventually buy the building in 1949 and Boyers Market and Catering would be there in activity until December 24, 2021. (Courtesy of the Amity Heritage Society)

Boyers Market housed Athol’s post office until 1979.

The post office opened in the general store building on Jan.6, 1885. Since there was already a post office in Amityville elsewhere, federal postal officials chose Athol as the name for some reason, the local historian George M. Meiser IX.

The site’s first general store was built there in 1843.

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