February 8, 2018

Ed Hyder, owner of Worcester Mediterranean market, dies

Photo | Worcester Magazine
Ed Hyder with his children Miriam and Gregory. Hyder, the founder of Ed Hyder's Mediterranean Marketplace, died from leukemia on Tuesday.

Ed Hyder grew up working in his family's market on Hamilton Street on Worcester's east side, so it was natural that at 25 years old, he went into the business himself.

Hyder opened his own market on Park Avenue in 1975 -- Ed Hyder's Mediterranean Marketplace -- catering to the city's immigrant community and others looking for ethnic food offerings that weren't available everywhere else. Add in a personality that loved to serve the community and a nonstop work ethic, and Hyder quickly found success.

"He started a business, but he also started a social club at the same time," his son, Gregory Hyder, said.

Ed Hyder died on Tuesday from results of complications from chronic lymphocytic leukemia at age 67. The family announced the death online Wednesday.

Word began to spread of Hyder's death before then, hitting many longtime shoppers who had stopped in for years for the shop's homemade tabbouleh, hummus, spices or broad wine selection.

"It must have spread like wildfire," Miriam Hyder, Gregory's sister and Ed's daughter, said of how quickly word got out. Shoppers and others stopped in throughout the day Wednesday and Thursday to give condolences.

"We always knew our dad was special and how he loved the community," Miriam Hyder said. "To him, it was never about the money or the food, it was about the people. Well, it was about the food, too," she added with a laugh.

Ed Hyder was born and raised in Worcester, a third-generation grocer in the family. His grandfather opened a market after coming to Worcester from Lebanon. Ed worked with his father and uncles in Hyder's Market for years growing up, starting at age 10, until opening his own shop after graduating college.

Hyder attended Quinsigamond Community College and earned a bachelor's degree in history from Worcester State University. He graduated from North High School in 1968.

Ed Hyder's Mediterranean Marketplace moved in 1994 from a tiny 400-square-foot spot on Park Avenue to an old fire station on Pleasant Street -- and the old fire pole from the second floor to the first still stands. The store expanded the space five years ago.

As the city's immigrant population has dispersed, the store has gone from serving predominantly residents of the neighborhood to those who look for wines, teas, breads, cheese and deli offerings.

"But we've never changed," Miriam Hyder said of the store's customer service.

Gregory and Miriam co-owned the store with their father and have been heavily involved in the store. They will continue to operate the business into a second generation.

"It's been wonderful to hear people's stories," Miriam said.

"It's been quite the outpouring," Gregory added, in between greeting well-wishers. "It's been shocking."

Ed Hyder is also survived by his wife of 40 years, Edna, a retired Worcester teacher, his daughter Alexis, and sister Linda Hyder of California.

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