By Janie Southard
The former Big Bear supermarket location on West Logan Street in Celina will reopen in about eight weeks as Logan Street IGA, giving Celina area grocery shoppers a new alternative.
John Sutter, owner of Ole Fort IGA, Fort Recovery, has purchased the site at 725 W. Logan St. and expects the store to reopen under its new name sometime in late July. The store, along with another former Big Bear location on East Wayne Street, was closed early this year as part of Big Bear parent company Penn Traffic's decision to close the entire Big Bear chain.
Sutter told The Daily Standard this morning the new store will feature fresh meats and the same pricing structure as he maintains in Fort Recovery.
"We buy fresh meat in bulk and can offer low prices to our customers," he said.
Shoppers will recognize some old friends among the 25 to 30 store employees to be hired. Celina natives Gary Stone, Dave Giesige and Ralph Weitzel, who all worked at the former Pantry Pride at that location, will return to the store. Stone will take on the duties of general store manager, and Giesige and Weitzel, both meat cutters, already are on the job at Ole Fort waiting for the Celina store to open its doors. A complete remodeling is underway at the Logan Street location including all new cases, flooring, heating and air conditioning plus new store front and signage as well as state of the art scanning at the checkout stations, Sutter said.
The new store will be open six days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; closed on Sundays.
"Sunday is the day to spend with your family. I believe that strongly. That's how we operate at Ole Fort," Sutter said.
Sutter's groceries are indeed a family venture.
"My wife Chris does the bookkeeping and the kids (Cassandra, 13, Jonathon, 9, and Jake, 6) do the radio advertising," he said. "IGA means hometown pride and we certainly want to be the hometown store in these good communities."
Chief Supermarket on Summit Street and Aldi's along Havemann Road are the only other groceries in the city. Wal-mart has announced plans to open a Super Wal-mart with a grocery along Havemann Road in the summer of 2005.