By Dan Bechtold
Winner Food Center has been sold to County Fair Food Stores. The change will take place on June 6.
Tom and Steve Boltjes of Platte, owners of Winner Food Center, said they have also sold the Platte Food Center to County Fair.
County Fair owns three other stores in Mitchell, Dell Rapids and Valentine, Neb. They also have a convenience store in Mitchell.
Marc King purchased Winner Food Center in 1989. At that time the grocery store was located across the street where The Store is now located.
In 1996 the grocery store moved into its present location in a new building.
Tom and Steve Boltjes have owned Winner Food Center for about 15 years.
Denice Duffy has worked at Winner Food Center since June 1989 and is the current manager and will remain in this position.
Both Winner and Platte stores will be named County Fair. Current employees will be able to keep their jobs.
“We are very excited to be here,” said Justin Luther, owner of the company.
“The Boltjes family has done a great job. Winner and Platte have wonderful stores with wonderful long term staff. We are very honor and excited to take over the two stores and bring what County Fair does to the communities. We are big part of the community. We firmly believe that we shouldn’t just be a part of the community but a part of what makes our communities great,” explained Luther.
He added the ownership is adamant about being involved and supporting our communities.
Luther explained all staff will have their jobs. “We are lucky to have great, long term staff with a lot of experience. There are a lot of wonderful people working in both stores. We have no need to change. We hope they all stay and move forward with us as a company,” he said.
Right away there will be no cosmetic changes to the store. “We would like to get into the space and live in it before we make any changes. The staff and customers know the most about the store. We want to learn from them. We want to know what makes the store tick and what needs to be changed,” said the owner of County Fair.
County Fair is a family owned business that are fourth generation retailers. “We are very customer and staff oriented. We feel our County Fair staff is family. We sell groceries but this is a people business,” he said.
Eventually the signage on the front of Winner Food Center will come down and be replaced with the County Fair name.
“We think there is a lot of potential in Winner. We look around and see some investment in the community. It is great to see growth in small towns,” Luther said.