By Janie Southard
Owners of Howell's IGA in New Bremen are looking at moving the grocery into the new Community Market building.
The Daily Standard learned last week that Community Market officials informed its 30 New Bremen employees that the grocery will close in two to four weeks, due to low profits. The market has been open less than a year, in the old Big Bear building.
Tom Howell, spokesman for Howell's IGA, would not comment on the news this morning.
The newspaper learned about the possible move at an Auglaize County Health Department meeting Tuesday where board members gave Howell's IGA 14 days to comply to a sink violation at its current store or show proof of leasing another New Bremen location.
The county health board cited Howell's as violating an Ohio Administrative Code Section, which requires the local market to install a three-compartment sink. In lieu of that installation, the board will require proof of a contract between IGA and Amsterdam Corp, LLC, for lease of the building occupied by Community Market, board members said. Howell's IGA currently is located at 210 West Monroe St. (state Route 274), and Community Market is in the Amsterdam Center, which is owned by Crown Equipment Corp. through Amsterdam Center LLC.
Tom Howell's only comment this morning was, "I've talked with Crown and there is no comment."
Howell's IGA also manages the Pantry Pride grocery that opened in St. Marys in February. That building is owned by SBA Realty, with the grocery business being managed by Howell's.
The Community Market building opened in November 2004. Market owner, Fresh Encounter, Inc., is based in Findlay. Its claim is that it is Ohio's largest independent grocer with 33 stores in Ohio and Indiana.