Taking Care of Business: Grocery store seeks to fill customers’ needs

REED CITY — From breakfast foods to office supplies to freshly-sliced deli meat, Vic’s Supermarket offers customers a variety of low-cost goods.

Established in the 1940s, the Reed City grocery store was named after its first owner and was once affiliated with Ric’s Food Center in Mount Pleasant.

In 1986, the store was purchased by the Neal family, and now is owned by the family’s second generation, James Neal and Tim Neal.

Along with offering food products and merchandise, the store strives to be a one-stop shop for all its customers needs. While shopping at Vic’s Supermarket, customers also can drop off a package to be shipped by UPS, pay their utility bills or visit the full-service deli and choose from the items on the lunch menu.

After changing their primary food sponsor to Spartan Stores in 2010, the store has received an overwhelmingly good response from shoppers enjoying the brand’s selection. Daily coupons and discounts for Spartan Stores items can be found at www.vicsfoodland.com. The store also sponsors a weekly food recipe in the Herald Review to help customers decide what to make for dinner.

The local grocer isn’t focused only on customer satisfaction. From cashiers to deli workers, the store also values its nearly 50 employees. With a sense of humor and attentiveness to employee needs, store managers strive to maintain a family-friendly working environment.

This month, the Herald Review shines its business spotlight on Vic’s Supermarket, located at 716 S. Chestnut St. in Reed City.

HERALD REVIEW: Give a brief explanation of what your business does or specializes in.

JAMES NEAL: We are a full-service grocery store. We offer fresh-cut meat daily, fresh produce (Michigan grown as often as possible) and a full-service deli with a lunch menu. Our service center offers UPS drop-off and shipping, Michigan Lottery, MoneyGram money orders and transfers, and utility payment service to hundreds of companies. We try to make shopping as easy as possible for our customers. One way we do this is by having all lanes open when its busy and making the time you wait in line as short as possible.

What is one thing most people don’t know about your business?

NEAL: We strive to offer a family-friendly work environment for our employees and to be as accommodating as possible to their needs.

How does your business give to the community? 

NEAL: Through both financial contributions and product donations and discounts, we support local schools, nonprofits and community events. We provide a location for schools and non-profits to present their fundraisers to our customers and encourage participation.

What is an interesting trend you've seen with your company or customers?

NEAL: In April of 2010, we changed our primary supplier and brought Spartan Stores and their great selection of products back to Reed City. We received an overwhelmingly positive response to that decision.

What is the best and worst thing about being in the business that you're in?

NEAL: The best thing would be seeing the customers. As for the worst thing, I can’t think of anything. There’s nothing too bad about being in the retail business.

Taking Care of Business

Name of business: Vic’s Supermarket

Name(s) of business owner(s): James Neal and Tim Neal

Number of employees: 48

Address:1716 S. Chestnut St. in Reed City

Phone number: (231) 832-5501

Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day

Established: 1940s