Chicken salad a hit at Kazmaier’s


PERRYSBURG — Kazmaier’s Market has been serving the Perrysburg community since 1898, and Leah Kazmaier wants to make sure that continues well into the future.

Leah, the 23-year-old daughter of store manager Mike Kazmaier and granddaughter of current family patriarch Allen Kazmaier, who is still working but in semi-retirement, was named deli co-manager along with Amanda Henderson eight months ago.

Leah knows enough about her customers’ tastes to reveal that Kazmaier’s homemade cranberry walnut chicken salad, served as a sandwich spread or a side dish, has become the leading item sold in her deli.

“Cranberry walnut chicken salad is the most popular thing back here,” Leah said. “Of our homemade potato salads, it is usually the most popular, and out of the three chicken salads we have as well.

“Cranberry walnut is personally, in my opinion, one of the best, and it is creamy, and it is sweeter. We use Miracle Whip in it instead of Duke’s (mayonnaise) that we use for the other two (chicken salads). I think that’s what people like about it is it is sweeter than the other ones.”

She doesn’t mind revealing the ingredients, which you simply mix in a serving bowl, but customers tell her they’ve tried to replicate it, and have a hard time doing so.

“I’ve heard that so many times, people will say they tried to make it at home and say it is not the same as here,” Leah said. “It’s such a simple dish, too. It’s very easy to make. Maybe it is the Kazmaier touch or something.”

Of course, it is one of those dishes that you add ingredients to suit your taste, and that can be different for different folks. Leah believes if you use Miracle Whip, which provides sweetness, and by adding the right touch of cranberries, they’ll find it.

Kazmaier’s deli is complete with any item you will find in any other deli.

“We have a bunch of salads — a lot of them are homemade,” Leah said. “We have some stuff that we get in, but I think that is really the nice part about this deli is that everything here is homemade, and we have special recipes for it.

“We do rotisserie chickens as well, which are very popular, people love that, and then out in our well we make salads fresh daily, sandwiches fresh daily, and people love our pizzas. We make these tomato mozzarella basil pizzas and those are popular.

“We have different dips as well, and dinners and everything — it’s just good stuff over here, with the cranberry walnut being one of the most popular.”

Leah started working at the market at age 16, and she was a cashier and bagger before her father moved her into the deli.

“They needed some help back here, so my dad stuck me back here, and just making things, talking to customers, I’ve met so many great people back here. I know their orders and everything, I know their names, and it makes it more intimate. I like that part of it,” Leah said.

“This is my family’s business, so I’m trying to take it over and I’m starting back here at the deli. I just really enjoy the deli. A lot of great people come through here and it’s just fun making things as well.”

She has found such a passion for the market that she and her sister Maddie are hoping to take over the store someday.

“I graduated college, went for four years, and came back here on and off, and my degree is in criminal justice,” Leah said. “But toward the end of that, I realized I wanted to stay here and keep the business growing.

“I really have the passion for it. I enjoy the customers, they are all great, and this store means so much to so many people and I just want to keep it going. It’s just like whatever is going on in your life, it’s what your passion is.

Kazmaier’s was started by Henry A. Kazmaier on Louisiana Avenue as a food and dry goods store 125 years ago, then in 1905 he bought the meat market next door.

The business grew, and he sold it to Robert Kazmaier in 1915. He died at a young age and the business was sold to his brother Harvey Kazmaier in 1919, who then operated it until 1938. By this time, Robert’s sons, Robert and Allen, became interested and bought the business from their Uncle Harvey.

As the business continued to grow, they built a larger store at its current location, 127 E. Second St. Much of the store’s history, including photos, can be found as you enter the store in the foyer area.

“There is just a lot of history with this place,” Leah said. “Downtown Perrysburg has so much history. I think that is one of the best parts about this. We have so many loyal customers and it is such a family-based oriented store, and I think that’s what makes it.

“It’s a small store, just one business, but I think that is what keeps it in check and in business because there are so many families who have been coming here for a very long time and it just keeps passing down.”

Kazmaier’s Market Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad


Boiled chicken (de-boned varying on chicken) and shredded

Dried cranberries

Chopped walnuts

Diced celery

Miracle Whip (enough to make it creamy)


Quantity of ingredients vary depending on the amount of chicken used. Cook and shred chicken. In a large bowl, whisk Miracle Whip and continue adding ingredients until combined. Serve chilled on bread, lettuce, or as a side dish.

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