Here at Wholey’s, we are dedicated to providing our customers the best in service and products. Our company was founded on the mission of creating happy customers by selling the freshest product at the best prices, in a friendly, fun atmosphere. While our company may have started in 1912, our mission has stayed the same over the years, and we are dedicated to treating our customers like extended family.
Back in 1912, the original Robert Wholey Company was founded in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Robert L. Wholey opened the store and sold live poultry, meats, sausages, and coffees. Because it was a small business, Robert L.’s son, Robert C. worked with his father selling the products and handling the live poultry. Not only that, but Robert C. showed off his entrepreneurial spirit by starting a couple of businesses himself including selling live Christmas trees, as well as fruit and vegetable stands while he was still a teenager.
In 1948, Robert C. returned home after serving in World War II as a Captain, and he opened the Robert Wholey Company Poultry Market in the Diamond Market in downtown Pittsburgh. Like his father, he sold fresh poultry including dressed chicken, eggs, duck, and turkey. Beginning in 1955, he started what would become his popular chicken barbeques.
In 1959, Robert C. had to move his business to its present location at 1711 Penn Avenue in an area known as the Strip District when the Diamond Market area was converted to a park that is now known as Market Square. Back at that time, the Strip District was essentially a warehouse district that had trains moving in and out continually delivering foodstuffs to the Pittsburgh market. While it has certainly grown since there, there were no retail or entertainment facilities then like there are now.
Beginning in 1960, Robert C. added fresh fish and seafood to his business and he began importing fresh and frozen seafood from all over the United States to supply to his retail and wholesale customers. He also started a new marketing tactic where the store hosted different events and attractions to bring in more foot traffic.
Because of the growth he was seeing, Robert C. had to begin hiring a fleet of trucks in 1961 who would make deliveries directly to his customers, and he also expanded his line again in 1967 by adding fresh meat.
After years of growth, in 1980 the Robert Wholey Company was able to purchase the Federal Cold Storage building which is located at 1501 Penn Avenue. Their business was opened as New Federal Cold Storage, and this is where they stored the frozen products for their customers. They also used this building for company headquarters and the wholesale division.
Eight years later, Wholey expanded once again. Wholey’s began being known for the Wholey Whiting, a type of fish that was very popular in the tri-state area, and because of this, Wholey International was created. The Wholey Whiting and other products were packed and distributed under the label nation and worldwide with this expansion.
In 1997, the company had yet another expansion where they opened Western Pennsylvania’s largest cold storage facility in Cranberry Township. They opened this section up to other companies from all over the country to store their products for distribution through Pennsylvania and neighboring states.
The Robert Wholey Company has been going strong for over 100 years, and will continue to serve its customers’ needs with the finest and freshest seafood, meat, fish, and poultry available anywhere. With our online business, it’s easier than ever to get fresh fish and other products shipped directly to your door.