White Plains resident Willy Ryan began work at Rooster’s Market in the city when he was a youth. Today he is sole owner of the business.
Ryan was a partner in the business for five years before becoming sole owner about two years ago, he noted last week.
Before becoming a partner, Ryan worked for Rooster’s Market for about a decade. “I did every job, scrubbing floors, stocking soda,” Ryan recalled. “I just kept going up each rung.”
Though he did not come up with the name of his business, Ryan explained why it was called Rooster’s Market in 1998. “Apparently the guy who started it had a lot of businesses and his nickname in college was rooster because he woke up early,” Ryan said.
The original owner operated Rooster’s for about five years before selling it.
Though he is now sole owner, his two former partners still work in the store. The general manager is Douglas Braziller and Nello Burgio is the operations manager. “They have all the knowledge of the day to day business,” allowing me to work on long term planning, Ryan said. “There’s only so much one person can do.”
Rooster’s is both a supermarket and a deli. “The deli’s a big part of our business,” Ryan said, and so are breakfast and lunch. Breakfast offers many selections. “We do a lot of things. We do them well.”
Popular breakfast items are the bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, which can be customized to meet patrons’ requests, Ryan said. “Nobody just gets a plain bacon, egg and cheese. Everyone wants something crazy,” he said. Some of the additions to the bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches include hash browns, avocado and chicken cutlets.
The lunch menu includes a wide variety of sandwiches. “We have well over 100 specialty sandwiches,” Ryan said, adding there are about 15 other sandwiches not on the regular list known by the staff and ordered by customers.
The most popular sandwich is the Conchello, which consists of chicken cutlet, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and oil, Ryan said. “It is fantastic.”
Customers can take out their breakfast and lunch items or eat them in the store, Ryan noted.
Rooster’s also has a catering service, which offers such items as wedges and a variety of hot and cold foods.
Ryan explained why Rooster’s has been successful for many years. “I think a lot of it is not sacrificing quality, even when everything seems to be going up in price,” he said. “We go out of our way to not use a cheaper product or give you less of what you want. For a while we’ll just find a way to mitigate the cost or eat the cost because if you have a bad experience once you’ll get over it, but if you have a bad experience twice you might not come back.”