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historic photo of ray lewandoski

Lewandoski's Market

100 Years of Polish Festival


Lewandoski’s Market

Lewandoski’s Market has been a beloved part of Grand Rapids for nearly 100 years. From its start by Wencel Rymerowicz in 1923, to Lewandoski’s in 1948, the shop has established itself as the go-to meat market for people across the state of Michigan.

alex skotko drumming at 100 years of polish

Recapping the recent celebration, we delved into the rich history of the west side, marking the 100-year anniversary of Lewandoski’s market. The community gathered for an evening filled with live music, featuring memorable performances by the Bruce Packard Trio, The Larry Mack Band, and the Ryan Waters Band from Nashville, TN. The event served as a heartfelt tribute, honoring the market’s century-long legacy and weaving together cherished memories and local camaraderie in a night of heritage and celebration.

man in hotdog outfit at 100 years of polish

Part of the creative deliverable was to create a life-size Ray Lewandoski. There were only small JPG scans available, so this was an exercise in scaling up in AI and Photoshop unlike I had ever attempted before!

me posing with my cardboard cutout of ray lewandoski

The other part was creating the emblem for the festival, and for the entire idea of their 100 year anniversary. The logo involves the storefront, a traditional typeface, and two Polish falcons.

lewnadoski's 100 years of polish

The current owners of Lewandoski’s Market, Gary and Mary Szotko, took over ownership in late 2018 and have since focused on maintaining the sense of community, both neighborhood and Polish, that’s existed in the shop for almost a century.

About The Szotkos

A lifelong Michigander, Gary retired from the Grand Rapids Fire Department in 2012 after 27 years of service. Nowadays, when he’s not at Lewandoski’s he plays accordion as a member of the polka band, GPS.

Mary comes from a long line of German meat market owners that started Meilinger Meats in the Chicago-area before eventually resettling to Grand Haven. Mary was also born and raised in the Grand Rapids area and is excited to introduce some of her family’s German history into Lewandoski’s Market.

Both of the Szotko’s are excited about all of the possibilities that Lewandoski’s Market has to offer and are looking forward to continuing the Polish heritage of the shop for many years to come.

the szotko families with ray lewandoski's cutout at 100 years of polish
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