Geyer’s Fresh Foods on East Herrick Avenue is set to become an Apples Market in the coming weeks after being purchased June 6 by Cascade Management Services.
Cascade, also the owners of Village Market on Rt. 58, will take over Geyer’s after months of speculation regarding the store’s future. Empty shelves had workers and village residents thinking it was only a matter of time before doors were shuttered.
According to Cascade president and owner Steve Krakomperger, all Geyer’s employees will remain on and a strong effort to restock shelves will soon be underway.
It will take about a month for the store to formally switch to Apples as licenses are transferred and other details of the purchase are finalized. Krakomperger declined comment on the purchase price.
“I live in Wellington and have a business here,” he said. “It’s very important for me to see this town continue to grow and succeed. It would be very detrimental to the town if 30 really good people lost their jobs just because a buyer couldn’t be found.”
Krakomperger met with Geyer’s employees soon after the purchase to tell them their jobs were safe and both pay and benefits would remain unchanged.
“We basically expressed interest even though Geyer’s was a competitor of ours,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get it back to profitability and get product on the shelves. Wellington’s store was pretty far outside of Geyer’s market in the Galion area. It presented a good opportunity for us to keep the store open, keep the shoppers, and keep 30 employees and their families gainfully employed.”
Signage and new equipment has been ordered and “we’re ready to go,” he said. “We want to be a good employer to these workers. They deserve it.”
Cascade will only take over the Wellington Geyer’s store, leaving the chain’s only remaining location in Galion under the ownership of E.J. Geyer. In addition to the new purchase, Cascade owns all four other Apples stores in Lorain County: Lorain, Elyria, Sheffield, and Sheffield Lake.
Geyer’s Markets Incorporated was formed by John and Mel Geyer in the 1950s and has seen stores also close in Mansfield, Crestline, and Bucyrus in recent years.
In May, the chain closed its store in Lexington, Ohio, which had been in business since 1989. In April, a store in Ashland was sold to Miller’s Markets of Indiana.
Medina’s Geyer’s Hawkins Market closed last September after 34 years in operation, putting approximately 50 employees out of work.
Hawkins Market locations were bought by Geyer’s ownership in 2002.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.