Editor’s note: This is a weekly series focusing on the importance of buying local.

Talk about staying power.

An extensive undertaking by Bridgeville Area Historical Society revealed 14 family-owned businesses founded before 1950 all have a certain distinction.

Mary Weise

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Mary Weise speaks about the Bridgeville Area Historical Society, for which she serves as president.

“By 2020, they are still there,” said Mary Weise, society president. “I think it’s the greatest thing for little Bridgeville Borough to brag about it.”

To acknowledge the business’ durability, the chamber teamed up with South West Communities Chamber of Commerce to present special certificates of achievement during a Feb. 27 event at Bridgeville Public Library.

“The businesses’ long-standing presence illustrates that no matter what the economic situations, no matter the developing landscape and no matter the changes that have occurred, our businesses can find the key to longevity through family and determination,” chamber executive director Mandi Pryor said. “And we are thrilled to honor that.”

Along with Bridgeville businesses, others that were recognized are in the neighboring townships of Collier, South Fayette and Upper St. Clair. Also, American Legion Post 54 in Bridgeville has been active since 1919.

The borough’s mayor, Betty Copeland, and Gwen Rodi, president of South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners, presented certificates to representatives of the businesses in what actually turned out to be a surprise for them. The event was scheduled as a chamber social mixer, and everyone in the know kept mum prior to the occasion.

Honored businesses:

  • Anderson Equipment, in business since 1910
  • Bridgeville Appliance, 1947
  • Calabro Tire and Auto Service, 1941
  • Cellone’s Italian Bread Co., 1911
  • Collavo Plumbing, 1920
  • Colussy Chevrolet, 1918
  • Evangelista Hair Care Center, 1947
  • Gallina and Sons Insurance, 1948
  • Ghelarducci’s Auto Service, 1939
  • Kosky Contracting, 1945
  • Melrose Cemetery, 1885
  • Portman Farm, 1932
  • Sarasnick’s Hardware, 1938
  • Steel-Bilt Construction (Industrial Composites Inc.), 1946

As he was accepting his company’s award, Bill Gallina spoke about what at first was the Henry G. Gallina Insurance Agency, at 623 Washington Ave. in Bridgeville.

“My father started the agency in 1948, and his very first customer, policy holder, is still with the agency: 96 years old and has never had a claim,” Gallina said.

Colussy

Gwen Rodi, president of the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners, congratulates Tim Colussy, far left, on Colussy Chevrolet's 102 years as a family business. Also pictured are, from left, Bridgeville Mayor Betty Copeland, South West Communities Chamber of Commerce executive director Mandi Pryor and Megan Colussy.

Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can contact Chris Slota at 724-225-1326 or by email at chris@belocal.net. Discount cards are available at the Observer-Reporter and Almanac office, 122 S. Main St., Washington.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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