Stoodt’s to change ownership in 2016

By Zach Jones - [email protected]

The long-time Bellville grocery staple, Stoodt’s Market will change owners in 2016.

The move comes following an announcement from the store’s previous owner, Bernie Hollar, who stated he had been looking for a potential buyer for several years.

Following the long process, Hollar finally found one in Jason Potes.

“I’m ready to retire,” Hollar said of his decision to sell the business. “It’s bittersweet. I’ve been here (at Stoodt’s) since 1961 and have owned since 1989.”

Potes is a native of Fredericktown, a graduate of Ohio State University and an attendee of Clear Fork Alliance Church.

The former Kroger Co. store manager intends to keep the consistent feel Stoodt’s has established.

“We will be retaining all of the employees at the store,” Potes said. “The name will stay the same. The only changes that will come are going to be positive.”

The new owner plans to expand store’s produce department within the coming weeks, adding consistent fresh shipments and furthering the selection. The store will also be adding natural and organic products to round out Stoodt’s inventory.

“I’ve always been very passionate about the grocery industry and serving customers,” Potes said. “I didn’t want to see Stoodt’s go the way of Hitchman’s or other local stores. If we can put a better product on the field, there are a lot of good years left for Stoodt’s in Bellville.”

Potes is set to officially take over the Main Street business Jan. 4.

“I’ve been with Kroger since I was 17,” Potes said. “I know the industry well. I’m excited to go out and apply what I’ve learned.”

The new owner also intends to establish a substantial digital footprint for the market and continue to grow the business.

“Thank you to all our customers and employees for supporting us over the years,” Hollar said. “Please continue to support Stoodt’s Market.”

By Zach Jones

[email protected]