By JANIE SOUTHARD
John Sutter, Fort Recovery’s Ole Fort IGA owner, will
open a grocery store in Celina whether or not his attempt to
purchase the former Big Bear Store on Logan Street is successful.
“We’re still in the process of trying to buy the
Big Bear store, but it’s not a done deal. There are a
lot of hoops to jump through with the bankruptcy,” Sutter
told The Daily Standard this morning.
Sutter would not comment any further on the sale, but did say
he has plans to come to Celina no matter what.
“Even if this Big Bear thing falls through, I’m
coming to Celina. I’ve even got another location picked
out,” he said.
Big Bear parent company Penn Traffic and a U.S. bankruptcy court
have final approval on the sale of the Logan Street store. So
far, Sutter is going through a maze of paperwork and inspections,
The closing of Big Bear stores in Auglaize and Mercer counties
leaves about 300 full- and part-time workers without jobs. The
local closures were part of the company’s plan to sell
or close all 67 Big Bear stores as it fights its way out of
The Celina Big Bear store off Wayne Street and the St. Marys
store are still open, and employees there would not comment
on when those stores will close. The New Bremen store also is
still open and will close Wednesday, according to an employee.
Although Celina and St. Marys still have other groceries available,
New Bremen and Wapakoneta shoppers will have to leave town to
shop after the closure of Big Bear, the only grocer in those