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News - Local News
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
Copyright © 2017 northplattebulletin.com - All rights reserved.
Flatrock Publishing, Inc. - 1300 E 4th St., Suite F - North Platte, NE 69101
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As a driver for the company that had been supplying Gary's foods. I was saddened to learn we were losing his business. I understand the recent complexities that helped lead to this decision. I wish to thank you for all the kindness you and your staff have extended myself of the other delivery drivers over the years. I will miss you.
Posted by AlwaysPassnThru    - 5/26/2017 10:26:28 AM
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NebraskaLand National Bank You've got a
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Congratulations Gary! I love your store on 4th! I hope you make the Westfield store as appealing as the First! Good luck!
Posted by ORBITHEAD     - 5/23/2017 4:20:15 PM
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Gary's meat counter is really good, IMO. I've never had a problem with SunMart meats but prefer Gary's as a rule.
Posted by original    - 5/23/2017 11:56:31 AM
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I always thought sunmart had better beef than Gary's....so for some of us or at least me, I'm going back to buying on the hoof and butchered. I like Gary's service he runs a great business but the beef isn't as good as it should be in my opinion, we'll miss sunmart.
Posted by Decent    - 5/22/2017 5:55:16 PM
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Wow, Greg....chill a little, man. Go get a massage, or maybe a prescription for Xanax. It's okay for us to disagree without you cussing me out.
Posted by futuredr    - 5/22/2017 2:15:36 PM
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Greg, you're going to get criticized sometimes because you're outspoken. Take it in stride. You can disagree without cussin.
Posted by George Lauby    - 5/22/2017 9:26:19 AM
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You know George, I bet most of the folks that post here on talkbalk have never done a single thing or invested a single dollar of there's to try to make north Platte a better place to live...whether succeeding or not. Just an fyi...its not easy. And if any if those naysayers that talk so much B.S. don't think there really is a "good old boys network".....well, they are wrong. North Platte is truly one of the toughest places I have ever attempted a project in. My last project was 35 miles east.....over a 2 million dollar project....went great...not one bump. No government money involved and the city was outstanding to work with. So, until fools like futuredr puts their money where there mouth is...they should not offer tyheir uneducated opinions.
Posted by Greg Renner    - 5/21/2017 6:15:27 PM
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Ya Greg, take it in stride.
Posted by George Lauby    - 5/21/2017 6:01:46 PM
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Greg Renner - Whatever happened to obeying the rules in this discussion. Rule #1 - I agree not to use profanity and Rule #2 - I agree not to make vulgar or offensive statements. I am deeply offended by the vulgar and profane speech that you use in your comment.
Posted by brosmith    - 5/21/2017 5:44:54 PM
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Greg wants to see the Dr's balls. Not sure what this has to do with groceries but Kudos to Gary and his team!
Posted by Emerson    - 5/21/2017 5:43:19 PM
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This post has been edited or blacked out.
nebred, I did not state the city had anything to do with any of these closings. I simply stated the city (including the chamber and devco) had been made aware of the pending store closings of Sunmart. I was told nearly 2 years ago, and have heard it multiple times since that they were helping in facilitating a sale to a new company (grocer). Now, as for the futuredr, pull your head out of your ass. I never said anything about any conspiracy. You can go and shove your big (future dr.) head somewhere else. Get over it, Do you really think that since you seem to brag about your future profession anyone cares about your crass comments?
Posted by Greg Renner    - 5/21/2017 4:42:34 PM
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The great thing (maybe) about this deal is that in order to acquire the Westfield SunMart he was required to also purchase the property on E. Francis. I hear that he's contemplating either a skating rink or a dance hall at that location.
Posted by npscout    - 5/21/2017 4:30:18 PM
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It is great for Garys foods, as to why NP is dieing? we have too many departments and companies that drain money in the name of progress and a promise of growth, all the while NP stays about the same population since 1982. Good on Gary's, but there is a reason those stores failed and close or needed bailed out.
Posted by justmeagain    - 5/21/2017 11:12:47 AM
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nebred: I agree. Not everything is a conspiracy by the city, like Greg thinks it is.
Posted by futuredr    - 5/21/2017 10:19:44 AM
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nebred: I agree. Not everything is a conspiracy by the city, like Greg thinks it is.
Posted by futuredr    - 5/21/2017 10:06:16 AM
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Mr. Renner the city had nothing to do with any of these decisions or transactions this was a corporate decision by SpartanNash to sell the west A street location to Mr. Suhr and close a under performing location on East Francis street. Thankfully we will continue to have a top quality store on the west side of town and with improvements to the store.
Posted by nebred    - 5/21/2017 8:47:41 AM
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Greg, we were aware of another grocer that was considering the old Alco building in Parkade Plaza, which of course is empty too. As you probably realize, businesses stick their necks out when they open a new store; speculative risk is part of business growth. It is likely that Alco, SunMart, JC Penney, etc. got a little too overextended here, where the population is static in North Platte and declining on farms and ranches, and competition from Wal-Mart is fierce. Even the Dollar stores have brought more competition. Add to that the growth of online shopping -- small wonder that corporations are closing a few stores here.
Posted by George Lauby    - 5/20/2017 5:11:24 PM
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Kudos to Mr. Suhr for expanding to the Westfield location. I am sure it will be well supported. That said, the meat counter at Westfield's Sun Mart is WONDERFUL. I hope Gary's will continue with the Sun Mart traditions, as we like it much better than Gary's East Fourth location, (which has such a weird, almost unpleasant odor to it....sorry to complain, Gary!)
Posted by nice person    - 5/20/2017 10:41:07 AM
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I would hope Gary's Super Foods expands their senior discount policy. Sun Mart gives 10% off all day long to seniors while Gary's only gives 5% off for a few hours in the morning.
Posted by brosmith    - 5/20/2017 10:38:36 AM
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Great news! Please consider making more options available at the deli; hy-vee does a wonderful job of offering things we all want!
Posted by sazion    - 5/20/2017 9:03:07 AM
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I have been hearing for over 2 years now the city has been actively looking for another company to fill the Sunmart properties as the closings have been planned for quite some time. Great news to hear Gary is taking one over, however, the other store closing with no new company to fill in is extremely bad news. Does anyone wonder why North Platte is slowly dieing? At the recent rate of retail closings in North Platte, there has to be some type of underlying issue.
Posted by Greg Renner    - 5/20/2017 7:35:34 AM
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Awesome, Gary's! I will miss the south Sun Mart. I shopped there instead of fighting the crowds at Wal-Mart.
Posted by original    - 5/19/2017 6:52:31 PM
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Congratulation to Mr. Suhr and the Gary's Super foods family for your sucess also thanks for stepping up and saving the Westfeild location from closing along with the Francis street location. This move will be great for the west side of town proving the best Meat,Produce and goods in town. Also a big thanks for saving many jobs from both stores.
Posted by nebred    - 5/19/2017 9:37:39 AM
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