After decades of dreams and brainstorming sessions, three brothers from Fairfield and Westchester counties are spearheading the revival of a business venture first started by their great-grandfather more than a century ago.
Siegel Bros. Marketplace and Siegel Bros. Wine & Spirits will soon open along Moger Avenue in Mount Kisco. The counterpart storefronts are the products of years of planning by brothers Doug, David and Jeremy Nevins and their father, Bruce Nevins.
The original Siegel’s store was opened by Bruce’s grandfather, Abram Siegel, who launched the venture after fleeing a czarist regime in Russia in the early 1900s. The patriarch of the family labored in factories for years to save enough money to bring his wife and daughter to join him in the U.S. Drawing on skills he learned from his family in Russia, Siegel was able to open his own butcher shop and slaughterhouse, Siegel’s Meats, Poultry and Livestock, in Woodbine, N.J.
In the ensuing decades, the family business was passed on to Abram’s sons and grandchildren and Siegel’s evolved into Siegel Bros. Butchers and Market.
“I grew up as a kid working in my grandfather’s butcher shop and all through high school, in the summers, I worked in the market in Siegel Bros.,” said Bruce Nevins. “It’s a great heritage that we’re really proud of and it’s a great opportunity for the next generation.”
The Nevins brothers, who grew up in Connecticut’s Ridgefield, also have fond memories of spending time in Siegel Bros. Though the business closed in the late 1980s, the Nevins family remained serial entrepreneurs and stayed close to its roots in the food and beverage industry.
Bruce was drawn toward the wine industry and worked for 14 years as the owner of Hay Day Wine Shop in Ridgefield. Both Doug and Jeremy followed in their father’s footsteps, operating the family’s retail stores Grand Harvest Wines in Grand Central Terminal and Wine Wise in Greenwich.
Meanwhile, David graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and made a name for himself on the Boston culinary scene before joining his family to open Osetra Oyster Bar and Fish House in South Norwalk. Ed Costa, a family friend with a background in hospitality, has also joined the venture.
“Everyone’s got their particular expertise within the businesses, so being able to come together as a team and finding the right area, the right location, the right space, everything really worked out tremendously here,” Doug said.
The family finally found that spot at 39 S. Moger Ave. in Mount Kisco. Because of the state’s liquor laws, the 2,500-square-foot market will sit adjacent to the 1,800-square-foot wine and spirits shop at 41 S. Moger Ave. Both retail spaces are undergoing extensive renovations, though the wine shop will likely open later this year and the marketplace is set for a January opening.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about for 20-plus years, but it’s always been the challenge of finding the right spot, the right location and the right piece of real estate that we could do it,” Jeremy said. “Mount Kisco is a great area. You have very affluent communities and food lovers, and it was the perfect time, the perfect place for us to jump on it.”
Like the original Siegel’s, the marketplace will feature a butchery with 6-foot windows that will allow customers to watch the carving of meats sourced from New York and Pennsylvania. To oversee the butchery, the brothers brought on a close family friend, Don Myers, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.
“A lot of places say they butcher; they don’t. They buy it, it’s pre-cut. We’re doing the real thing,” Jeremy Nevins said.
In the store’s kitchen, David will prepare a variety of to-go foods, from soups and sandwiches to “fun things” like fried clams and roasted pig heads. The company will also offer a catering menu for parties or special events.
“I see it as a carnival for food lovers,” David said. “Somewhere they want to go and say, ‘I can’t wait to see what Siegel Bros. has today, because every time we’ve been there, it’s something new.’”
Across the sidewalk from the marketplace, Siegel Bros. Wine & Spirits will offer tastings to pair with those prepared food offerings.
“It’s something that nobody else can say they can do,” Jeremy said.
The brothers take the Siegel name and the legacy that comes along with it seriously. Each pledges to be an on-site, hands-on business owner.
“One thing that you will see is that we’ll always be here,” Jeremy said. “My kids will be here all the time. They can’t wait.”
The market’s decor will pay homage to the stores’ legacy, with vintage photographs of the brothers’ uncles working with their cattle and the family patriarch, Abram Siegel, manning his shop.
“We want to share (the history) with everybody, to show them that this is real legacy, this is real heritage of a family tradition,” Jeremy said.
Do the brothers feel the extra weight on their shoulders of carrying on the legacy of generations before them? Not so much, they say.
“I think it’s not pressure, it’s pride,” Jeremy said. “There’s a lot of pride here. And I think they’re all looking down on us with big grins.”