The new owners of North Judson’s only grocery store can go ahead with upgrades to their equipment, thanks to action by the town council. Members approved a promissory note with Heartland Markets, Inc. for a $50,000 secured revolving loan. Money came from North Judson’s share of the County Economic Development Income Tax. President Jeff Huffman says financial support from the town was imperative.
“We had just purchased a store in Francesville a few months earlier. Without the note from the town, we wouldn’t have been able to do it at this point in time. We would have had to wait. It was pretty evident it was going to close if we didn’t get the loan from the town, so the town stepping up and enabling us to come in here and welcoming us was fantastic. Otherwise we just wouldn’t have been able to do it.”
Money will be used for some upgrades, including a new point-of-sale, refrigeration equipment and cases. New signs will also be purchased.
Huffman adds North Judson fits Heartland Markets’ profile.
“We’ll have a service counter meat case and self-serve. We’ll have just kind of old fashioned grocery stores where we still carry out groceries. We know our customers. We don’t do the big city thing, but we’ll have good pricing because we have seven locations.”
Huffman says the store will be open seven days a week. All of the Ray’s Super Foods employees who opted to stay still have jobs, and Heartland Markets is looking to add more staff as well.