Buehler’s Fresh Foods Wins Best Bagger 2018 in the State of Ohio

Best Bagger Competition 2018 - Ellissa Chambliss

Wooster, OH – August 16, 2018 – Ellissa Chambliss of Buehler’s Fresh Foods, defeated competitors from across Ohio to claim the title of the Ohio Grocers Association (OGA) Best Bagger Champion at the August 9, 2018 competition held at the Buehler’s Wooster Milltown location.

This is the second year in a row for Ellissa to claim the state title and the fourth year in a row for a Buehler’s bagger to represent the State of Ohio at the national bagging championship, hosted by the National Grocers Association. The national championship will be held in San Diego in February 2019.

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 four years in a row in addition to the national championship in February 2017 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 and COO of Buehler’s Fresh Foods.

About Buehler’s Fresh Foods:

Buehler’s Fresh Foods is an employee-owned company 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.

Buehler’s Fresh Foods 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

New program Provides Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for low-income Wayne County shoppers

For families who rely on SNAP (Food Stamps), fresh produce is often off the table – literally. But in Wayne County, that’s about to change. A new program is bringing “produce-purchasing power” to the families who need it most.

Now families shopping with SNAP at the three Wayne county locations of Buehler’s Fresh Foods will receive up to $10 extra – per visit – to spend on fruits and vegetables. It’s all part of a partnership with the national non-profit Wholesome Wave, funded by the Ohio Department of Health and on track to reach tens of thousands of Ohioans this year.

We all know we should eat fruits and vegetables daily, but families struggling with poverty often simply cannot afford them. As a result, the same people forced to skip meals are also likely to suffer from obesity and diabetes—because the foods they can afford lead to high rates of diet-related disease. But when people can afford fresh produce, they buy it. That’s where this program comes in.

Each time SNAP customers spend at least $5 on fresh produce at Buehler’s, they will receive a $5 voucher for more fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s no enrollment or paperwork to fill out; shoppers receive the benefit automatically. Three Buehler’s Fresh Foods locations (two stores in Wooster and one in Orville) will distribute produce vouchers this summer.

National non-profit Wholesome Wave, which helped create the program, works across the country to equip families in poverty with produce-purchasing power and has been active in Ohio for years, supporting local partner Produce Perks Midwest and the Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network. Wholesome Wave has long helped Ohio SNAP shoppers buy more produce at farmers markets in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Today SNAP shoppers can find Produce Perks at nearly 100 farmers markets across Ohio.

Now the concept has hit the supermarket check-out lane. The Ohio Grocers Association has played a key role, while Buehler’s Fresh Foods, an employee-owned company with 13 stores serving Northern Ohio will be making the idea a reality for their shoppers.

“Poverty should never be an obstacle to something as essential as fruits and vegetables,” said Sarah Pandoursky, Partnership Manager at Wholesome Wave. “Our programs have found, year after year and state after state, that when people can afford produce, they buy it. Diets change and health outcomes follow. Local businesses and area farmers benefit too. It’s good for everyone.”

“The Ohio Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Communities Program is committed to improving healthy food access in under-resourced communities,” said Ann Weidenbenner, MS, RDN, LD, Creating Healthy Communities Program Manager, Ohio Department of Health. “The expansion of the Produce Perks program to three Buehler’s retail locations in Wayne County improves access to fresh fruits and vegetables for residents and helps families on SNAP stretch their food dollars.”

“Produce Perks is thrilled to have Buehler’s Fresh Foods join our team. We recognize their leadership amongst Ohio grocery-retailers and appreciate their commitment to providing affordable access to healthy foods. We’re excited to be working with a retail partner that shares our values toward building equitable communities and resilient food systems. – Tevis Foreman, Executive Director, Produce Perks Midwest.

PROJECT PARTNERS & ROLES:

In 2017, the Ohio Department of Health made a pioneering investment of $800,000 in the statewide growth of Produce Perks. ODH continues to be a key partner and active participant in the efforts to expand the program to new communities across Ohio.

Wholesome Wave, a nationally-recognized leader in the field of nutrition incentive programs, manages the contract with the Ohio Department of Health. Wholesome Wave also provides technical expertise on the expansion of Produce Perks into grocery stores, complete with a marketing campaign designed to spread the word to SNAP consumers in surrounding communities.

Produce Perks Midwest, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit, serves as the backbone organization of the Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network, a multi-sector collaboration of stakeholders working to increase affordable access to healthy food for Ohio’s under-resourced communities, while strengthening local farms and economies. Find out more at www.ProducePerks.org.

The Ohio Grocers Association serves as a key partner in program development and growth, supporting store recruitment, Produce Perks promotion, and sustainability.

The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at Case Western Reserve University manages project evaluation.

About Buehler’s Fresh Foods:  Buehler’s Fresh Foods, an employee-owned company, operates thirteen Buehler’s Fresh Foods Supermarkets located in Wooster, Orrville, Wadsworth, Medina, Ashland, New Philadelphia, Dover, Jackson Township (Canton), Coshocton, and Portage Lakes (Green), and Massillon, Ohio. For more information visit www.buehlers.com.

Buehler’s Bagger, Brady Long, to Appear on National TV

WOOSTER, Ohio – July 13, 2018

Brady Long will be appearing on the TV show, To Tell the Truth, on July 22 at 10:00 pm on ABC.

Brady Long of Buehler’s Fresh Foods, defeated competitors from across the United States to claim the title of the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion in 2017 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 the year.

About Buehler’s Fresh Foods:  Buehler’s Fresh Foods, an employee-owned company, operates thirteen Buehler’s Fresh Foods Supermarkets located in Wooster, Orrville, Wadsworth, Medina, Ashland, New Philadelphia, Dover, Jackson Township (Canton), Coshocton, and Portage Lakes (Green), and Massillon, Ohio. For more information visit www.buehlers.com.

Amy Kaylor, Catering Sales and Marketing Manager, has been promoted to Director of Catering Operations for Buehler’s Fresh Foods, headquartered in Wooster, Ohio. In her expanded role, Amy will assume more autonomy in the day-to-day operations of the catering departments, which are located inside of most Buehler’s Fresh Foods store locations.

Amy first joined our company in June 2014 as a Catering Specialist, after having worked in both catering and traditional food service in the Wooster area for several years, and attending Youngstown State University.

Some of her recent accomplishments include introducing a new, on-line catering order program for Buehler’s, refurbishing and successfully operating the historic “Grange Hall” buffet at the 2016 and 2017 Wayne County Fair, hosting and serving over 1,000 guests at the 2018 Wooster Chamber of Commerce annual dinner and consistently growing sales in the Catering departments across Buehler’s Fresh Foods store locations.

Mike Merritt, VP of Food Service Operations said, “The entire management staff at Buehler’s is extremely excited to have Amy in her new role.  Amy has been a great addition to our Foodservice Department by providing customers with outstanding service, amazing food and an overall great experience.  Amy’s experience in the Foodservice business is helping our business grow.”

Amy and her husband live in the Wooster area with two, young and energetic sons.

Buehler’s Fresh Foods welcomes Peter O’Donnell and announces several promotions

Peter O’Donnell, newly hired Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

As Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Peter O’Donnell has joined the company’s Senior Leadership Team after spending 10 years as a vice president in the grocery wholesale and retail industry with SpartanNash. Peter has significant management experience in the retail industry and in public accounting and consulting. His responsibilities will include corporate governance, supervision and oversight of Buehler’s financial and accounting functions, information technology, compliance, lender relations, and stewardship of the employee owned company’s assets. Peter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Missouri and Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton Business School and also is a CPA. 

Jen Hudson, now Director – Marketing and Advertising

Jen Hudson will join the Buehler’s HQ Directors’ Team and provide creative leadership and subject matter expertise in all matters related to marketing, advertising and store promotions. She and her team will continue to grow the impact of Buehler’s ads across all media and strengthen the employee owned company’s brand in each of the markets where it competes. Jen holds a B.A. in Visual Communications from The University of Findlay and has been employed as a graphic designer with Buehler’s since 2000.

Yvonne Monea, now Director – Human Resources

In her expanded role, Yvonne Monea, CEBS will join Buehler’s HQ Directors’ Team and continue to provide professional leadership in all matters related to employee relations and human capital management. As Director of Buehler’s Fresh Foods’ Human Resources function, Yvonne and her team will provide tactical support to the Store Operations Group while building on Buehler’s tradition of “Putting People First.”  As a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), Yvonne will continue in her role as subject matter expert for benefits administration, compliance, and support while serving as Buehler’s Associates’ advocate in all matters related to employment.  Yvonne holds a BS in Business Management from EMU.

Dave Allen, now Manager – Training, Development and Recognition

As the newest member of the Wooster HQ Managers’ Team, Dave will provide creative leadership and subject matter expertise in all matters related to training, development, and employee recognition.  Working on behalf of the Store Operations Group, Dave will work to grow Associate recognition, and training programs, all while building Buehler’s bench, and developing and enhancing critical skills throughout the organization.  Dave holds a Bachelor’s in Art degree from the University of Akron.

About Buehler’s:

Buehler’s Fresh Foods, an employee owned company, owns and operates thirteen Buehler’s Fresh Foods Supermarkets located in Wooster (2), Orrville, Wadsworth, Medina (2), Ashland, New Philadelphia, Dover, Jackson Township (Canton), Coshocton, and Portage Lakes (Green), and Massillon, Ohio.

Buehler’s Fresh Foods names Jim Tapscott, Paul Nanula and Dan Shanahan as their Board of Directors

Wooster, Ohio, December 22, 2017 – Buehler’s Fresh Foods, a regional supermarket chain located in northeast Ohio, announced the Board of Directors for their newly formed company. Dan Shanahan, President and CEO of Buehler’s was elected as Chairman and is joined on the Board by Jim Tapscott and Paul Nanula. “We welcome the addition of these two outstanding new Board members and look forward to their contributions to the company,” said Shanahan.

Jim Tapscott is currently a principal in Eagle Advisory Services in addition to serving on the Board of Old Second National Bank Corp. Tapscott was formerly a partner with McGladrey LLP (now RSMUS) and the leader of commercial audit and tax for the Chicago practice.

Paul Nanula is currently the President of Nanco Group and is also a principle and Board member of IQ Craft LLC. Nanula also sits on the Boards of Niagara Hospice Alliance, USA Niagara DC – a subsidiary of Empire State DC and Auction Direct USA. Nanula was formerly an Executive for Tops Markets, a leading Supermarket Chain based in Western New York and more recently the President and CEO of Wilson Farms Acquisition Group, owner of 200 convenience stores located in upstate New York.

Contact: Ms. Deeann George – dgeorge@buehlers.com

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

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

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.