Grocery store under new ownership in Mott

There’s a new face behind the checkout counter at the grocery store in Mott.

The grocery store in Mott has new owners. They officially took over March 1. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor

There’s a new face behind the checkout counter at the grocery store in Mott.

As of March 1, Kim and Chuck Oien are the new owners of Oien Foods, formerly Olson Foods.

Kim, along with her husband Chuck—who have owned and operated the drugstore in Mott since 2013—had always been interested in the grocery industry. But they dedicated much of their time to their oldest son, who is disabled as the result of a brain injury.

That has changed.

For the past few years, their son has been able to attend the Carlson Center in Jamestown, and the duo thought it would be a good time to venture into the food market.

“Our life circumstances at home are a little bit different,” Kim said. “So I figured we could maybe make it work now.”

The store had been on the market on and off for some time, and this fall the Oiens contacted the owner—Eric Olson—to see if it was still on the market. Eric had purchased the store from his parents.

Conversations between the two parties started in November, and on Dec. 22, 2016, they signed the official papers.

Given some transition period, the Oiens took over full operations on March 1, and so far, Kim said it’s been busy.

“The first week was very, very busy,” she said.

As they begin to change the name on the proverbial mailbox, the two have begun introductions between themselves and their vendors.

Some employees left during the transition, but they are working on new hires.

“We kept everybody that wanted stay,” she said. “We are filling a few vacancies.”

There are some changes on the horizon.

“We are planning on doing extensive changes,” Kim said.

Some of those changes, Kim said, include extending business hours while opening for Sundays.  Some of those hours will be adjusted as they make new hires.

They have purchased a new point-of-sale system and will be installing brand new checkout machines in mid-April, which will be a huge boost for getting merchandise out on the shelves and increasing the efficiency of the checkout process, according to Kim.

The two are also currently looking into purchasing new refrigerator and freezer equipment.

Some of the changes will be implemented faster than others.

“We’re really excited for the changes we’re doing here, and just you know to freshen it up,” she said. “But it’s going to be a process.”

Kim also said they will be doing a total reset with revamped isles and layouts.

One of the major changes underway is the switch from Supervalu to Spartannash. Now the store will be stocking Our Family brands.

The Oiens also would like to combine their two businesses in the future.

“It is our intention, in the future, to have the pharmacy over [at the grocery store] as well,” she said.

She said that it could take a year for that change to happen, because they need to adhere to inspections and approvals.

Kim said they plan on holding a re-grand opening when more of their changes have been implemented, so that the community can see the changes at one time.

“We’re just excited to hopefully help improve the store opportunity here in Mott,” she said. “And give the community something decent and exciting to look forward to.”

Share this post