GALION — A grocery store chain that has been serving Ohio consumers since 1929 has chosen Galion to be the home of its next location.
Buehler’s Fresh Foods will become the newest addition to the Galion West Shopping Center where the local, independent, employee-owned grocery store will open in October. The new store — the 14th Buehler’s location — occupies a 21,700 square-foot space near the intersection of Portland Way North and Ohio 19 in the heart of Galion’s primary retail corridor and give shoppers in Galion and Crestline a local option for buying groceries. Officials said the new location will add about 70 employees to the company roster.
“We are excited to have an opportunity to serve the people of Galion, Crestline, and the surrounding communities,” said Dan Shanahan, president and CEO of Buehler’s. “We think our formula of fresh, great tasting food combined with low prices will be well received. Included in our offering will be our very successful Healthy Living program which brings over 3,000 healthy living items at supermarket prices, conveniently located all throughout the store. In addition we will be carrying a variety of brands for all different shoppers.
“Premium brands such as CAB meats, Boar’s Head deli, and Driscoll’s berries along with a full variety of local and value brands such as Open Acres and Our Family. We think customers want more of a choice than just predominately private label items.”
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said Buehler’s opening a location in Galion is a significant and welcome development for the community.
“Questions about when Galion is going to get a grocery store represent probably half of the questions I get from local residents. Just that one topic,” O’Leary said. “So it’s been at the forefront of peoples’ minds for several years now. I think from a community perspective, even with the other grocery options, many residents felt like there was something missing in the community. And so with Buehler’s coming to town and with all the positive things I can and will say about Buehler’s, I really believe it’s worth the wait.
“(Buehler’s) is a solid operator. They want to be here,” O’Leary added. “I think they’ll be good to work with insofar as things like community involvement and we will be talking with City Council over the next couple of weeks about some possible incentives that may apply to Buehler’s. We really feel that we should do everything we can at city hall to ensure their success.”
Miranda Jones, executive director of the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce, said Chamber officials are pleased to have Buehler’s join the local business community.
“We are thrilled that an employee-owned, full-service grocery store has decided to invest in Galion,” Jones said. “They will be a great addition to our city, as they are civic minded and supportive of the communities in which they currently have stores.”
Paran Management Company manages the Galion West property and negotiated the lease with Buehler’s. Paran Chairman and CEO Joseph Shafran believes Buehler’s will help boost business in Galion.
“Having Buehler’s Fresh Foods at Galion West is ideal for the health of the community and will provide a boost for everyone, including existing businesses at the center,” Shafran said. “I’m especially pleased that shopping for fresh food will be easier.”
Buehler’s will conduct local hiring events beginning in September. Job fairs will be conducted at the Big Four Depot Pavilion in Galion from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16 and Friday, Sept. 24.
Buehler’s is an ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan) and in addition to being Employee Owned they are certified and named as “A Great Place to Work.” The prestigious award is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working at Buehler’s Fresh Foods.
“A Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily — it takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Global Recognition at Great Place to Work. “It’s the only official recognition determined by employees’ real-time reports of their company culture. Earning this designation means that Buehler’s Fresh Foods is one of the best companies to work for in the country.”
In addition to its reputation as having friendly, clean stores with a great selection of brands and healthy choices, Buehler’s has a 92-year history of community service, is a Leadership Partner of the Akron Canton Food Bank with over 200,000 meals donated this year and also a strong supporter of the American Heart Association. A little over a year ago Buehler’s was recognized by the Ohio Grocers Association and received their Pinnacle Award. The OGA Pinnacle Award is given annually to recognize overall excellence in retail operations, and is the highest award given by the Ohio Grocers Association.
The new location will also make registration for frequent shopper Advantage rewards easy through in-store and online options and Buehler’s plans to participate in online shopping through Instacart. For information about operations, hiring, and store plans, contact Jennifer Hudson, Director of Marketing with Buehler’s Fresh Foods.
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