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Lino’s Market listed for sale in Durham as longtime owner looks to step back

Lino’s Market listed for sale in Durham as longtime owner looks to step back

reporter photo

DURHAM — Lino’s Market is for sale, but owner Lino Aparo says closing is not an option.

After 25 years of almost nonstop work, Aparo said he’s ready for a personal change. He’s looking for a new owner so he can step back from the business and spend valuable time with his family and teenage kids. 

“This business is good, but when you do so much, after 25 years, it catches up to you,” Aparo said. “I don't want to be in a position years later regretting that I didn't take the time with my family.”

The 1.77 acre property and business was listed Sunday for $1.7 million, including three single-family residences adjacent to the business. The listing includes an option to buy the business only, for $649,000. 

The store was fully remodeled last year, including new flooring, show cases and equipment. 

Aparo is looking for a new owner to essentially take his place, with the intent of keeping the market as is — same name, same employees, same offerings. 

“We're looking for a passionate entrepreneur that's looking to take over the business and to continue it as Lino's Market,” Aparo said.

Lino’s Market, 472, Main St., offers a full-scale deli, fresh cut meats, seafood and cheese, and to-go prepared meals, as well as breakfast sandwiches. The store also makes cannolis and other pastries daily and had rows of Italian imports and fresh produce. 

For years, Aparo worked upwards of 85 hours per week, seven days a week in the beginning. When his oldest child was born about 17 years ago, the store cut down to six-day weeks, but Aparo said he’s still working for the 12 hours it’s open each day, plus some. 

Aparo said his decision to sell has nothing to do with the town or public officials, whom he says have always been open to work with him as a business owner. 

Durham is “for business, it's not against business owners,” he said. 

Aparo said stepping back from the business will be sad, but he will still be living in town, and would like to keep working in some capacity. 

“I am grateful for the business (patrons have) given me, my family, my self, for 25 years. Very thankful,” Aparo said. “We're blessed to have customers like we have.”

Aparo said he doesn’t have a timeline for finding a new owner, but if this route doesn’t pan out, he’ll reconsider the options. For now, closing is not on the table.
Twitter: @baileyfaywright