NEW YORK – Howard Glickberg, longtime CEO and most recently vice chairman of real estate development at Fairway Market, will retire from the company his grandfather founded effective immediately. Glickberg will remain on the company's board.

Glickberg started unofficially "working" at Fairway as a child at the original 74th St. and Broadway location. His official employment started while he was a college student. Glickberg's full-time involvement with Fairway Market began in 1974 following a stint as a stockbroker and part-time staff member at the fish market. He partnered with David Sneddon and Harold Seybert in 1975 and in an effort to expand Fairway, the partners began adding specialty items; expanding the space and emphasizing fresh fruit and vegetables.

Over the next several years, Glickberg and the Fairway Market team established locations in Harlem, Plainview, Long Island and Red Hook, Brooklyn. Sterling Investment Partners acquired a controlling interest in the company and facilitated further growth. Currently, there are 15 Fairway Markets and three Fairway Wine and Spirits locations. In January, the company announced its stores would carry Murray's Chicken, which is produced without genetically modified feed.

Glickberg said it simply was time to step down.

"I've dedicated the past 40 years of my life to building the world's greatest food store," the 67-year-old Glickberg said. "It's been my life's work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the past when I would take a little vacation, I would somehow wind up visiting a supermarket. And if I saw an apple out of place I would fix it. So I've never traveled anywhere without Fairway on my mind."

Glickberg said that he plans on spending the next 40 years traveling — as well as fishing, playing golf and "just relaxing".

"I've earned the right not to have to fix that out-of-place apple anymore," he added.

Jack Murphy, CEO, described Glickberg as "indefatigable and indispensable to Fairway's growth over the past four decades."

"It was his vision to bring together the corner butcher, bakery, cheese monger, fish market, and farmer's market all under one roof, and add in an unparalleled selection of traditional, specialty and organic groceries at the best prices," Murphy said. "All this has brought Fairway iconic status and enabled the company to truly earn the moniker "Like No Other Market."