Ruby, Sam and Al Pastor
Youth and Professional Sports Benefactors
In 1936 three young entrepreneurs, Ruby, Sam and Al Pastor, bought a used truck for $48 and started a new business delivering flavored soft drinks in the Bronx.
In 1954, the brother relocated to Buffalo, where they experienced tremendous growth. Today, the Pepsi-Cola Buffalo Bottling Company and other Pastor family businesses employ nearly 1,000 people.
In 1956, the Pastor brothers bought the Buffalo Bison Hockey Club. When the team threatened to move, the Pastor brothers bought the club, and under their ownership the Bisons improved dramatically. Many future NHL stars were brought to Buffalo, and in 1960, 1964 and 1970 the Bisons won the Calder Cup and became one of the premier clubs in minor league hockey with an average attendance of 10,500 a game In 1971, the Pastors sold the Bisons and they became an expansion team in the NHL, our present day Sabres.
Today, the Pastors still sponsor the Ruby Pastor Pepsi/Crush Junior Traveling League, a bowling tournament now 35 years old, the Al Pastor Memorial High School Invitational Basketball Tournament, which is 8 years old and the Sam Pastor Pepsi Memorial Hockey Tournament, now 18 years old. The two month long hockey tournament draws 6,000 youngsters here and provides an estimated $6.75 million boost to the local economy each year.
With the passing of Ruby, Sam and Al Pastor in the 1980s, Western New York lost three men who believed deeply in giving something back to their community.