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Gary's Super Foods buys Westfield Sun Mart Tell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Gary in the store on E. Fourth
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Gary's Super Foods
Photo by George Lauby
Westfield Sun Mart

Gary's Super Foods will move into the Sun Mart grocery store in the Westfield Shopping Plaza on West A Street within 60 days.

Owner Gary Suhr said Thursday the deal is set to buy the store, with just some final touches yet to be made. He hopes to make the move in 45 days or so.

The acquisition will give Gary's two locations on opposite sides of town.

The other Sun Mart grocery store, a couple blocks from Wal-Mart on Francis St., will close.

Suhr said he plans to retain the staff at the Westfield store. He said Our Family brands will be offered there. He said the first priority will be to obtain licenses and make sure the staffs at both stores are comfortable.

He said the deal has been under consideration for a couple months and came together about a week ago.

Suhr, whose first grocery store was in Hershey, has become a force in the North Platte business world.

In 2014, he and his wife Chris, along with partners Lonnie and Kelly Parsons, purchased the former Cedar Bowl, renovated it and re-opened as Wild Bill’s (WB’s) Wings and Bowling.

“Opportunities come up, and we take a hard look at them,” he said.

Suhr opened the only locally owned grocery store in North Platte in early 2009 -- Gary’s Super Foods -- in the Fourth St. Plaza on the east side of the city. He has successfully competed with Wal-Mart and Sun Mart.

Prior to that, Suhr owned the store in Hershey for 13 years. He grew up in the grocery business. His father Carl ran grocery stores in South Dakota and Minnesota and eventually became an area manager for Nash Finch.

For years, Gary worked for John Hullmuth, the owner of the Jack and Jill store in Hershey, where he developd a reputation for high-quality meats. He bought the Hershey store in 1995, named it Gary’s Super Foods, and renovated it in 2004. After he became a grocer in North Platte, he sold the Hershey store.

He expanded the E. Fourth store a year ago.

The Westfield store will also be called Gary’s Super Foods, he said.

Sun Marts are owned and operated by SpartanNash, a company created by a merger of Nash Finch and the Spartan stores of Michigan in 2014.

Spartan Nash has about 150 corporate-owned grocery stores in 10 states, including Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

The company’s core business is distributing food to military commissaries and exchanges, as well as retail stores, as far away as the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Azores, Bahrain and Egypt.

The company’s earnings are on par with expectations. Earnings were up 3.4% in the first quarter compared to last year, according a May 19 report in Transcript Daily, a stock trading news reporting service.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/19/2017
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