E&H Family Group Announces Sale of Buehler Supermarkets to its Employees

E&H Family Group Announces Sale of Buehler Supermarkets to its Employees

Thirteen Supermarkets Sold to Employee Stock Ownership Program

WOOSTER, OHIO, October 18, 2017 – E&H Family Group, parent company of Buehler’s, today announced the sale of its 13 supermarkets to employees in the form of an employee stock ownership program (ESOP). All 2,100 employees will be retained in the transition and eligible employees will become owners. All 13 supermarkets will remain open with the same hours of operation.

“This was a decision we did not take lightly. Our generation of Buehlers are reaching retirement age and we think this a better option than selling the business to outsiders,” said Dan Buehler, president & COO, E&H Family Group. “We want these supermarkets to be here serving customers and providing good jobs well into the future. There’s no one better qualified than our own employees to carry on that mission. We believe that the transition to an ESOP is a winning solution for the Buehler family, our employees and the communities we serve.”

The ESOP will be operated by the newly formed Buehler’s Fresh Foods, retaining the familiar name and led by an experienced team of Buehler’s veterans, including Dan Shanahan, Buehler’s Fresh Foods president and COO since 2011, Rick Lowe, VP of Human Resources of E&H Family Group since 1977, and Mike Davidson, VP of Store Operations since 2015.

Shanahan will serve as president and CEO of the new company, Lowe will be executive vice president and CAO and Davidson will be executive vice president of store operations.

“We wish Dan, Rick and Mike all the best as they lead this exciting transition. They know this business inside and out, our employees know them well, and we are confident that together, they will continue to achieve great success,” said Dan Buehler, President, E&H Family Group.

“On behalf of the Buehler’s Fresh Foods team, we are happy for the Buehler family and excited for the opportunity to write the next chapter in the great Buehler story,” said Dan Shanahan.

E&H Family Group, owned by the Buehler family of Wooster, also operates 22 hardware stores in Ohio under the E&H Ace Hardware name. The sale has no impact on the E&H Hardware Group, which will continue operating under Buehler family ownership.

The Food Partners represented E&H Family Group in its evaluation of strategic alternatives including as its financial advisor in the transaction.

Buehler’s Fresh Foods grocery store was founded in 1929 by E.L. (Ed) Buehler and his wife, Helen. After opening their first store in New Philadelphia, the Buehler family moved the business to Wooster in 1932 and opened a store near the northeast corner of Public Square. The new store prospered under Ed’s direction with his emphasis on customer service, free delivery, garden-fresh produce and a clean, friendly grocery store atmosphere. Four generations of Buehlers have worked in the family business since its founding.

“This is the right thing to do for our family, our customers and suppliers, and I know my brother Gene and our mom and dad would agree,” said Don Buehler, who worked in the store as a child and who stepped back from day-to-day responsibilities in the family business in June 1997 after decades of service.  “We have deep and longstanding relationships with thousands of customers and farmers in the communities we serve, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their loyalty and support over the past 88 years.”

Don and his brother Gene, who passed away in 2011, were the second generation to oversee the company, and they helped further deepen the family’s ties to the community. They were inducted together into the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce Business Wall of Fame in 2007 and are both in the Ohio Grocers Hall of Fame.

The brothers’ five sons, known as “The Buehler Boys,” built on that tradition, assuming leadership of the company in the late 1990s.

Rick Lowe, VP of Human Resources of E&H Family Group and now a principal of the new company, has been married to Gene Buehler’s daughter, Linda, since 1974.

“The Buehler family is not going away,” said Dan Buehler. “We’ve always been a family operated independent business that’s very involved in our communities. Our customers are our neighbors and friends. We live in the communities we serve, we’re committed to them and we will continue to support them.”

,

Winner, Winner, Big-Beef Dinner

Winner, Winner, Big-Beef Dinner

Buehler’s awards shoppers summer-giveaway prizes

Wooster, OH – August 2017 – As soon as the weather started to sizzle, the team at Buehler’s Fresh Foods created a sizzling giveaway to go along with it, and one lucky winner received a year’s supply of tasty, premium beef.

Pat Sippel, of Dover, could not have anticipated that the start of her 80th year would begin with Certified Angus Beef ® brand steaks for a year, but it sure did. After Buehler’s final drawing on July 11, 13 lucky shoppers received Weber Spirit® 310 gas grills, and Sippel was announced the grand-prize winner.

 

From left to right: Emily Whiting, Certified Angus Beef; Dave Savidge, Buehler’s Fresh Foods; Pat Sippel, grand prize winner; Drianna Lewis, Certified Angus Beef; Doug Wills, Buehler’s Fresh Foods.

 

“It’s an unexpected thrill,” Sippel said while meeting staff members from Buehler’s and Certified Angus Beef LLC. “I’ve felt very blessed in this life, and this is just icing on the cake.”

Sippel added that she plans to share her juicy winnings with family – the perfect way to celebrate multiple birthdays.

The contest, which began on May 31, allowed Buehler’s customers to enter a grill giveaway – for the chance to win a grill or steaks for a year.

The giveaway went along with the “Grilling Item of the Week” promotion, which included a Certified Angus Beef ® brand item, from burger patties to bone-in strip steaks, each week at a valued price in order to get people excited about the summer grilling season.

“I think it’s a win-win for Buehler’s, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand and, most importantly, our customers,” says Karen Brenner, a member of Buehler’s marketing department.

,

Buehler’s Ellissa Chambliss Wins Ohio Best Bagger 2017

Buehler’s Ellissa Chambliss Wins Ohio Best Bagger 2017

Ellissa Chambliss of Buehler’s Medina River Styx defeated competitors from across Ohio to claim the title of the Ohio Grocers Association (OGA) Best Bagger Champion at the August 8, 2017 competition held in Columbus.

Designed to promote supermarket employees and demonstrate a superior core customer service skill, the statewide competition has been held by OGA annually. Contestants are judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance, and are chosen through statewide competitions over the course of last year.

“The OGA puts on a fun event and we love to participate every year. We’ve been fortunate enough to have won this competition three years in a row in addition to the national championship this February in Las Vegas. It’s nice to be able to say that our baggers are the best in the state as well as the country” said Dan Shanahan, the President of Buehler’s Fresh Foods.

,

BUEHLER’S MILLTOWN to HOST WORLD’S LARGEST GRILL

The Johnsonville Big Taste Grill, the World’s Largest Touring Grill, will be pulling into Buehler’s Milltown on Tuesday, August 8, from noon to 6 pm.  Volunteers from People To People Ministries will be serving up delicious Johnsonville brats, Shearer’s chips/Frito Lay Pretzels/Doritos, and Pepsi drink products for only $3.00!   ALL proceeds will benefit People To People Ministries. People To People Ministries is an Emergency Needs Ministry, and is here to help those in need when there’s no place else to turn. Last year, People To People Ministries (PTPM) provided assistance to over 10,000 Wayne County applicants.

The Big Taste Grill has been featured on ESPN, CNN and Fox Sports.  The grill is 65 feet long, 6 feet in diameter, and has a capacity for cooking 750 bratwursts at one time or 2,500 per hour on its 40 square feet of grilling surface!  The lid of the grill weighs 6,000 pounds and is opened using a hydraulic system. It also includes hot and cold running water, a clean-up sink, and a refrigerated unit.

Buehler’s Named 2016 Leadership Partner by Foodbank

Buehler’s Fresh Foods Named 2016 Leadership Partner by Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

WOOSTER, Ohio- June 2017

Buehler’s Fresh Foods was recently awarded the 2016 Leadership Partner Award for their support of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Buehler’s has been a Harvest for Hunger participant for 10 years and is now including E & H Hardware Ace Hardware affiliated stores in the campaign. Buehler’s regularly gives close dated/outdated but still viable food items to the Akron-Canton Foodbank.

President and COO of Buehler’s, Dan Shanahan, says, “We are proud to partner with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and we support its core value of ending hunger in the communities that we serve.”

Buehler’s engages its employees to participate in the Harvest for Hunger campaign with different activities each year. Past events have included a polar bear jump, store employee dress down days, a 50/50 raffle and a pie-in-the-face to one “lucky” manager. The monies collected from the events are added to the generous contributions made by Buehler’s customers. For each dollar raised, the Foodbank can provide 4 meals to someone in need.

2017 National Watermelon Queen to visit Buehler’s

2017 National Watermelon Queen to visit Buehler’s

Buehler’s Fresh Foods Wooster Milltown and Nobles Pond Canton locations will host Madison Laney, recently crowned 2017 National Watermelon Association Queen. Madison brings her product knowledge, recipes, and customer giveaways to Buehler’s, just in time for summer events. Everyone is welcome to come and meet Madison at Wooster Milltown on Friday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at Nobles Pond Canton on Saturday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.   

“We are excited for our customers to meet Madison and learn more about the benefits of eating watermelon,” stated Jeff Tomassetti, Buehler’s Director Produce and Floral. “Madison will be offering watermelon tastings, recipe demos, and sharing stickers with the kids.”

The National Watermelon Association Queen is a public relations representative for the watermelon industry. Madison shares her knowledge on the nutritional benefits and versatility of watermelon.  She visits schools, farms, farmers’ markets, televisions stations, grocery stores, and watermelon festivals. Madison competed as the 2016 Alabama Watermelon Queen at the 2017 National Watermelon Association Queen contest in Lake Tahoe, Nevada where Madison took first place and was crowned the National Queen. She is a student at the University of Alabama, majoring in fashion and retail design.

To learn more about the Watermelon Association, visit www.watermelon.org  .

Buehler’s to Participate in Campaign to Help Fight Hunger

Buehler’s Fresh Foods to Participate in Campaign to Help Fight Hunger

Wooster, OH – Buehler’s Fresh Foods will participate in the National Grocers Association (NGA) campaign, “Independents Day of Giving”, to help fight hunger by supporting Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization with over 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries nationwide. This includes local Ohio food banks: the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, the Cleveland Foodbank and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

“We are proud of the outstanding support given to our local Food banks by our customers and employees throughout the year. We are happy to be participating in the NGA National Day of Giving” said Dan Shanahan, the President and COO of Buehler’s.

The campaign will take place during the month of June from Wednesday, June 21 through Saturday, June 24 in all Buehler’s locations. Shoppers will be encouraged to add a $1, $3, or $5 donation to their grocery bill while at the checkouts. Over 2,000 independent grocers have committed to participating in the inaugural “Independents Day of Giving” campaign.

A recent survey by Feeding America found that one in seven people struggles with hunger in the United States. Food banks are often flooded with donations during the winter/holiday months, but many are in desperate need throughout the summer when kids may lack access to school meal programs. Each year, Feeding America food banks supply food to more than 46.5 million people in the U.S., including 12 million children and seven million seniors.

About E&H Family Group:

E&H Family Group is fully owned by the Buehler Family and operates thirteen Buehler’s Fresh Foods supermarkets located in Wooster (2), Orrville, Wadsworth, Medina (2), Ashland, New Philadelphia, Dover, Jackson Township (Canton), Coshocton, Portage Lakes (Green) and Massillon, Ohio.

E&H Family Group also owns and operates twenty one ACE Hardware stores located in Orrville, Medina, Dover, New Philadelphia, Delaware, Jackson Township (Canton), Independence, Rocky River, Westlake, Avon Lake, Middlefield, Oberlin, Garrettsville, Hilliard, Plain Township (Canton), Kamm’s Corner (Cleveland), Mansfield, Hilliard, Piketon, Newton Falls, North Olmsted and Millersburg,Ohio.

E&H Family Group is committed to environmentally responsible behavior, local sourcing of product and supporting the communities in which we operate. For more information visit www.buehlers.com

E&H Hardware Group to Acquire Oxford Ace Hardware

E&H Hardware Group to Acquire Ace Hardware & Building Supply in Oxford

The family-owned E&H Hardware Group is in the process of purchasing Ace Hardware & Building Supply located at 300 S. College Ave., Oxford, Ohio. E&H Hardware will continue to operate the store as an Ace Hardware, serving the Oxford community and surrounding areas.

Ace Hardware and Building Supply in Oxford was purchased by Jeff and Debbie MacDonald in October 1985. In the ensuing 32 years the business has grown and expanded in both product lines and service. “The success of the store is a reflection of a supportive community that has become our loyal customer base. Equally important has been our consistently helpful and professional staff. Both of these are so important to be successful in retail and we are so appreciative to everyone,” stated Jeff.

The MacDonalds are retiring from the daily store operations. They are looking forward to having more time to spend visiting family and friends, and taking a more active role in some of the many volunteer opportunities available in the Oxford community.

All employees of Ace Hardware & Building Supply will be offered the opportunity to work for E&H Hardware Group in the current location when the name changes to E&H Ace Hardware. Additional employees may also be hired. Job postings may be found on www.indeed.com by searching Ace Hardware.

E&H Ace Hardware will continue to offer the wide selection of products and services from the lumber yard, hardware store, and small engine repair shop. The “Ace Rewards” loyalty program will continue to bring expanded savings to customers and in-store pick-up will still be available for orders placed on acehardware.com.

The hardware will close on Sunday, July 9th and reopen as E&H Ace Hardware on Monday, July 10th in order to complete the transfer. Most of the store’s current “house accounts” will be pre-approved for continued use at E&H Ace Hardware. A letter detailing the set up process will be sent out in late May. New applications may also be picked up in store.

“Jeff and Debbie MacDonald have built Ace Hardware & Building Supply into a true destination for the Oxford area. We are excited to welcome this store into the E&H Ace Hardware family and look forward to becoming a part of the Oxford community,” stated Scott Buehler, President & COO of E&H Hardware Group.

About E&H Family Group:
E&H Family Group, parent company of E&H Hardware Group and Buehler’s Fresh Foods, is wholly owned by the Buehler family of Wooster, Ohio. The organization operates thirteen Buehler’s Fresh Foods supermarkets in northern Ohio and twenty-one hardware stores under the E&H Ace Hardware name. Hardware locations include Orrville, Medina, Dover, New Philadelphia, Delaware, Canton (2), Independence, Rocky River, Westlake, Avon Lake, Middlefield, Oberlin, Garrettsville, Hilliard, Kamm’s Corners (Cleveland), North Olmsted, Mansfield, Piketon, Newton Falls, and Millersburg, Ohio.

E&H Family Group is committed to environmentally responsible behavior, local sourcing of product, and supporting the communities in which they operate. For more information visit: www.buehlers.com.
# # #

Best Bagger in the United States 2017 to Visit all Buehler stores

Best Bagger in the United States 2017 to Visit all Buehler stores

Come and meet Brady Long of Buehler’s Fresh Foods, who defeated competitors from across the United States to claim the title of the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion at the February NGA Show in Las Vegas, NV.

Designed to promote supermarket employees and demonstrate a superior core customer service skill, the nationwide competition has been held by NGA since 1987. Contestants are judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance, and are chosen through statewide competitions over the course of last year.

“It’s nice to be able to say that our baggers are the best in the country”, said Dan Shanahan, the President of Buehler’s Fresh Foods. “We were with Brady in Las Vegas watching him compete with the top 25 finalists from all over the country. We thought – why not have Brady visit all our stores and share some of his tips with each and every one of our baggers”. “And our customers will get a chance to meet Brady.”

Brady’s schedule to visit Buehler’s store locations will be:

Wooster Milltown: Fri., May 12             

Medina River Styx: Sat., May 13

Portage Lakes: Fri., May 19                  

Massillon: Sat., May 20

Orrville: Fri., June 2                               

Wooster Downtown: Sat., June 3

Wadsworth: Fri., June 9                         

Canton Jackson: Sat., June 10

New Philadelphia: Fri., June 16             

Dover: Sat., June 17

Medina Forest Meadows: Sat., July 1   

Ashland, Fri., July 7th

Coshocton: Sat., July 8

***Friday hours to visit stores will be from 3 pm to 6 pm

***Saturday hours to visit stores will be from 1 pm to 4 pm

 

L to R: Brady Long, 2017 Best Bagger Champion, Duff Goldman, Kristin Mullins, President/CEO Ohio Grocers, Peter Larkin, President and CEO, NGA, Bob Ling, NGA Chairman of the Board

 About E&H Family Group:

E&H Family Group is fully owned by the Buehler Family and operates thirteen Buehler’s Fresh Foods supermarkets located in Wooster (2), Orrville, Wadsworth, Medina (2), Ashland, New Philadelphia, Dover, Jackson Township (Canton), Coshocton, Portage Lakes (Green) and Massillon, Ohio.

E&H Family Group also owns and operates twenty one ACE Hardware stores located in Orrville, Medina, Dover, New Philadelphia, Delaware, Jackson Township (Canton), Independence, Rocky River, Westlake, Avon Lake, Middlefield, Oberlin, Garrettsville, Hilliard, Plain Township (Canton), Kamm’s Corner (Cleveland), Mansfield, Hilliard, Piketon, Newton Falls, North Olmsted and Millersburg,Ohio.

E&H Family Group is committed to environmentally responsible behavior, local sourcing of product and supporting the communities in which we operate. For more information visit www.buehlers.com

E&H Ace Hardware in Millersburg Now Open

E&H Ace Hardware in Millersburg Now Open

WOOSTER, Ohio – April 11, 2017

E&H Ace Hardware, locally operated and proudly owned by the Buehler Family of Wooster, Ohio, announces the opening of their twenty-first Ace Hardware store. The store officially opened its doors on Monday at 70 N. Washington Street, Millersburg, Ohio 44654.

Store hours have been expanded to Monday through Saturday from 7:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The phone number for E&H Ace Hardware Millersburg is (330) 674-6941. Steve Hug, store manager, and his team are excited to be a part of the community and look forward to welcoming customers back to their local hardware store.

“Providing top-notch customer service is part of our company’s mission. Nearly all of the previous staff has chosen to join our Ace Hardware team; we look forward to offering the same knowledgeable and trusted advice customers have come to expect over the years,” stated Scott Buehler, President and COO of E&H Hardware Group.

During the transition the store has enhanced all departments, with notable expansions of electrical and plumbing. A full service paint department offers Valspar, Ace Royal, top-rated Clark+Kensington paints, and custom color matching. The store’s service department will repair most small engines and hand held power equipment, as well as perform blade and chain sharpening. Additional store services include glass cutting, screen repair, and duplication/replacement of encoded automobile “chip” keys and key fob remotes. Ace Hardware’s free “Ace Rewards” loyalty program brings additional savings to customers and in-store pick-up will be offered for those customers that prefer the convenience of shopping online at www.acehardware.com.

E&H Ace Hardware also offers clothing and footwear from brands such as Carhartt, Thorogood, Muck, and Georgia. Popular products from Husqvarna, Wooster Brush, DeWalt, Craftsman, Weber, Scott’s Fertilizer, Ortho, and Quikrete are also available. The lower level includes farm and fencing supplies, equine and poultry hobby farming products, and a new selection of dog and cat food and care items. Hunting, fishing, and camping supplies are also available. Additionally, E&H Ace Hardware plans to sell a variety of rifles, shotguns, and handguns through the company’s recently acquired Federal Firearms License.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Millersburg community. Residents have welcomed us with open arms and for that we are grateful. We look forward to serving our friends and neighbors with the helpful advice and service they’ve come to expect over the years,” stated Steve Hug.