Hamburgers are about as "American" as you can get, and the hamburg at Aresco's Superette in Meriden is about as good as you'll find.
For 47 years, the Aresco family has owned and operated the market at 238 Gravel St., finding success as a small, neighborhood grocery store by keeping the focus on quality and the customers.
"We have a little of everything," said owner Larry Aresco, who took over the store from his father, Joseph, in 1982. These days, Aresco is in the process of handing the business over to his son, Adam, a third-generation butcher.
"I've made a lot of good friends over the years," Aresco said.
For the store's customers, the Arescos aren't the only familiar face behind the counter. Clerk "Kree" Nedinsky has worked at the store for 25 years.
"It started as my part-time high school job and I'm still here," she said.
Along with freshly cut meats, customers can pick up prepared foods and other grocery items Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Aresco's is open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Patch: How does a business stay open as long as you have?
Aresco: Great customers. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here.
Patch: What's your most popular item?
Aresco: My big seller is my meat, my hamburg and specialty patties. 90 percent of my meats are cheaper than Stop and Shop and ShopRite. I don't have the butchers to pay so I can keep the prices a little bit lower. [Adam] puts the meat case together and it's beautiful.
Patch: How has the store changed?
Aresco: In the early days, people used to sit down and have dinners. Now everything's fast food. They want everything prepared, so we do a lot of prepared foods.