It's one thing to inherit the reins of a family business. It's another to secure its future, particularly when the business is a small, Manhattan-based supermarket chain that competes with Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, Fairway Market and Zabar's. That's the challenge that faced George Zoitas, whose father, a Greek immigrant, opened Westside Market NYC in 1972. In 2007, the younger Mr. Zoitas became CEO. Now 29 years old, he has been training for this his whole life. During his teen years, he made deliveries and did odd jobs. At 16, he computerized the company's systems. His mother, Maria, is head chef of the prepared foods at all five stores, so he's also had a lifetime of food lessons. Mr. Zoitas proved himself in 2004, while still studying at Hofstra University, when he steered the store at Broadway and West 110th Street through a three-year closing due to a building demolition. Westside Market, which is poised to earn $100 million this year, has three Upper West Side stores, including one on Broadway at West 97th Street that opened in April. It also has a Chelsea branch and one in Maywood, N.J. To keep customers coming back, the chain promotes good food, friendly service and competitive pricing. Mr. Zoitas says each store has between 4,000 and 7,000 customers per day. The recession took a bite out of prepared foods, but those numbers have stabilized. The business is a family affair. John, Mr. Zoita's father, is the "Yoda" of the business. Among the five shareholders are two of George Zoita's siblings. And his mother, Maria, is so hardworking "she has trouble going on vacation," said Mr. Zoitas. Mr. Zoitas runs the business with a hands-on approach. "I don't work out of an office," he said. "I'm always on the floor, trying to guide and inspire the people who work for me." Lately, Mr. Zoitas, who is opening a new store in west Chelsea, has been building an empire of his own. In 2009, he opened Vareli, a restaurant on West 111th and Broadway, recruiting chef Amitzur Mor, a Bouley alum. In 2010, he established a fledgling record label, 3 For 5 Records, with American rock band Eve to Adam. HITS Taking a page from cooking reality shows, Mr. Zoitas fosters an ongoing competition among his chefs and sous chefs to invent new prepared dishes and packaged foods. Winners that have landed on the shelves include Westside Cold Granola Oatmeal and Homemade Pita Chips. "We had an employee who took a bag of ripped pita chips and baked them with oil, oregano and salt. That became a new product," he said. Apart from generating good morale, Mr. Zoitas said, coming up with innovative products—ones you can't find in the major supermarkets—is a good way to keep an edge. MISSES In 2004, Westside Market's Broadway and West 110th Street location was given notice by its landlord of 37 years that the building where it leased ground-floor space would be demolished to make way for a residential high-rise. Notices came every two weeks, but it took six months before the neighborhood mainstay closed its doors. At the helm was Mr. Zoitas, who had to figure out how much inventory to stock from week to week. Ultimately he had to let go of 100 employees. While the store reopened in the same location three years later for triple the amount of rent, Mr. Zoitas said, the experience taught him a valuable lesson. "I would never open a supermarket in a building that has a demolition clause," he said. "You work hard to establish a brand. You've got employees. And no matter what kind of compensation there would be, it's not worth losing continuity."