FISHER — After 92 years, Ingold’s Meat and Deli is returning following a several-month "vacation."
It’s back and reopens for business this week under new ownership.
The new owners are Brandon and Carissa Chandler of rural Fisher.
Brandon Chandler said the grocery, located at the corner of Front and Third streets, will open Wednesday, Sept. 26.
He said the business will hold a grand opening Saturday, Oct. 6. The store will be open that day from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the store will give away pulled-pork sandwiches and ice cream cones.
Several familiar faces will be back at Ingold’s.
Local resident Levi Horsch, who has more than 10 years experience managing meat and deli shops at County Market and other grocery stores, will serve as store manager.
Bas Campos, who will be the store’s main meat cutter, has worked at Ingold’s as has the other meat cutter, Doug Brever, who worked there until the day it closed.
JoeAnna Berg, who has worked at Paxton IGA, will run the register.
All are Fisher residents.
Chandler said they opted to keep the Ingold’s name "more for the community and marketing."
"Same meat, same small town, good quality, fresh every day," he said.
Originally opened in 1926 by brothers-in-law Harve Ingold and Jesse Heiser, who ran it until the mid-’80s, Ingold’s had been operated by the same family for nearly a century. Harve Ingold’s son, Dale, later joined the operation, and Dale’s children and their spouses, Steve and Belinda Ingold and Diana and David Wilkinson, ran it until this spring.
Unable to find a buyer for the business, they closed it.
The Chandlers decided they wanted to run the grocery to help the community, "and Carissa and I enjoy running a business together," Brandon said. "We’ve been running a concrete company for about 10 years now. It was an opportunity for us to do this together."
Added Carissa, who also is an accountant for Caterpillar in Pontiac: "I guess we just kind of jumped on this and thought it was a good opportunity. Brandon has a lot of good ideas. He’s pretty creative."
This is going to be one busy fall for the couple. In addition to opening the store, they are expecting a baby in about two weeks.
Customers will notice several changes in the store.
The retail space is cut in half. They will make the other half available for rent or expansion if needed. Gone are the boxed foods and breakfast foods — "a lot of the things that Dollar General is carrying," Brandon said.
The cold beer section will be expanded.
"That was a very limited section," Brandon said. "We want to be more competitive with Casey’s. We will also expand the wine section, and there will be more meat bundles."
He said they want to get away from "a lot of those split-half situations where you get a lot of meat that you don’t really want."
"If you’re looking for 10 ribeyes and some t-bones, we’re going to do a premium steak bundle where you can load up the freezer with what you want and ... do call-ahead orders."
The store will also offer a brown sack lunch that includes a deli sandwich, two deli sides, a bag of chips and a soft drink.
They also hope to add rotisserie chicken at some point.
Also, "Bas has been working at Fresh Time in Bloomington, and they do a lot of flavored brats, and he is eager to get into that," Brandon said. "That’s kind of why we added onto our food prep area for expansion into the rotisserie chicken and brats."
This marks the first time in the grocery business for the couple, who said they will be "leaning on our staff."
"We will offer the meat and everything that goes with it," Brandon said. "Dollar General doesn’t have fresh produce. We will have a limited supply of that."