Samuel D. Costa, Sr., the founder of Costa's Supermarkets, Inc., got his start in the grocery business in 1919 working as a clerk for Gilroy's General Store in Austin, PA. He was 12 years old at the time and was hired mainly because he could speak Italian. That made him indispensable when dealing with the Irish store owner's ethnic clientele.
He worked for Gilroy's until the age of 38 when he opened his first grocery store in Roulette, PA. It was considered very modern and "cutting edge" for that era. In the winter of 1950, the store was consumed by fire started by an upstairs tenant. Sam found a small market for sale in nearby Smethport and moved his young family there to set up shop, even though the town supported 10 other neighborhood grocery stores.
After 10 years, business and Sam's foresight led him to open the first supermarket in the county in the spring of 1960. It was located at 323 E. Water St. in Smethport and soon became an innovative and well run establishment. In that same fall, Sam's oldest son, Sam Jr. joined the company and took over the manager's position. By that time, there were only 2 grocery stores left in Smethport.
In 1976, Sam Sr.'s youngest son, Paul, became involved in the family business followed 21 years later by his own son, Josh. Sam Sr. never fully retired and worked daily until his death at age 89 in 1997.
Several additions and remodels later, Costa's Supermarket became the only supermarket in town when they moved into the recently vacated Jubilee Market at 407 E. Water St in the winter of 2003. A massive full-scale remodeling project resulted in today's beautiful, modern facility that is still the show-place of the area.