Dave's was founded in 1930 by Alex Saltzman, who opened a small produce wagon on Payne Avenue. Shortly after that, the Dave's expanded to become a supermarket. Ownership passed through five generations, from Alex to his son David (after whom the store is named), to his son Burton, to his sons Dan and Steve, and his sons Aaron and David. As of February 2019 the original location on Payne Avenue is now closed.
Dave's opened at six other locations in Cleveland and Euclid in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. A store was opened in Akron in 2004, and a store in Shaker Square was opened in 2005. In 2006, Tops Markets announced plans to close all of its Northeast Ohio stores. In part of a major bid with fellow supermarket Giant Eagle, Dave's purchased four stores (three new locations, one to replace a smaller store across the street), which opened in early 2007. Dave's purchased another store from Giant Eagle later that year.
In October 2007, Dave's converted its Ridge Road Store to Dave's Mercado. This was done to better associate with the large amount of Hispanic people who live near the store and to compete with the new Wal-Mart opening near the store. Many features of Dave's Mercado include signs written in both English and Spanish, as well as authentic Hispanic foods.
In February 2019 Dave's opened a 60000 sq ft store on E 61st and Chester
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