GALION — Officials from Bueheler’s Fresh Foods joined with local leaders on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the company’s newest location in Galion.
Buehler’s opened the new store two weeks ago at the Galion West shopping center on Portland Way North. Shoppers from Galion and surrounding areas immediately flocked to the store.
Dan Shanahan, president/CEO of Buehler’s, kicked off the grand opening by presenting a $1,000 donation to the Galion Community Foundation. Board of Trustees Vice Chair Dr. Sandra K. Powell, Board Secretary David Spraw, and Board Treasurer Cathy Moneysmith accepted the donation on behalf of the Foundation.
Shanahan said Buehler’s had to face and overcome numerous obstacles in order to get the new store outfitted and open for business.
“On the Buehler’s side, a terrific job by our team,” he said. “We got this done in a COVID environment. All the equipment was late arriving as we tried to stay on schedule. We did a great job with the hiring and the staffing; we’ve got a full staff in here.”
While the company has larger stores elsewhere, Shanahan said the Galion location is the fourth Buehler’s location in its size range, which covers 21,700 square feet.
“We had two other stores that were in trouble and we came in and now they’re flourishing,” he said. “So we think this is going to be just like them. We’re pretty good operators. We’re pretty good at what we do.”
Shanahan said Buehler’s and Paran Management Company, which operates the Galion West shopping center, have been working together for more than two years to secure the lease for the new location.
“It was a lot to make happen and it all fell in place,” Shanahan said.
Joe Del Balso, director of leasing for Paran Management Company, noted that much work has been put into making the Galion Buehler’s a reality.
“This has been a long road and a hard-fought one,” he said. “It’s a great group at Buehler’s. We couldn’t have a better relationship. Again, I want to stress that their success is going to be based on the community coming here and shopping. They will continue to give back and we will continue to be a great partner with them. We just ask that the community supports them.”
Shanahan also announced that Buehler’s has received notice that it will be able to open a liquor agency in the Galion West shopping center two doors down from the grocery store. He said with the addition of the Galion location, Buehler’s will now operate three liquor agencies.
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said he’s glad to see Buehler’s join the local business community. He praised Buehler’s and Paran Management Company for teaming up to help fill a void in the local market.
“It’s truly the kind of partner that Galion’s been looking for. It’s great to have you here,” O’Leary said. “I think the primary focus is something that I’ve been saying since the announcement was made is that this will be successful if the people without name tags come here regularly and make this their destination. We’re really lucky in the community and we’re happy to have you here. We’ll make this a successful partnership with Paran, the landlord, the City of Galion, and Buehler’s — what a great team.”
Miranda Jones, executive director of the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce, noted that Buehler’s has already established working relationships with local suppliers, putting locally-produced products on their store shelves.
“Obviously, as a chamber of commerce, our biggest push is to have people shop local,” Jones said. “And what we love best about Buehler’s is they not only have given us a place to shop local, they’re using other local businesses in their store. And that partnership means everything. You’ve got Rus-Men Farms, their meats are in there. You’ve got fresh produce. You’ve got bakery items.
“It’s just a wonderful partnership. And the fact that they’re moving forward and partnering with other businesses to help keep them supplied with items we can all get right here in Galion, right here in Crawford County.”
Buehler’s was founded in 1929 by E.L. (Ed) Buehler and his wife, Helen. The first store was located in New Philadelphia and the company has since grown to include 14 stores across northern Ohio. In 2017, Buehler’s employees purchased the company in the form of an employee stock ownership program (ESOP). All 2,100 company employees were able to retain their jobs in the transition with eligible employees becoming owners.
For information about the company, go to its website www.buehlers.com.