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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Big changes coming to local Economart

  • New signage, outdoor patio and more for the Almich-owned business.
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    When you love what you do – the line between work and home isn’t so cut and dry. This is something that third generation grocer Brett Almich learned early in life – from his Grandpa Frank “Bud” Almich.
    “My real passion for the grocery store comes from my grandpa. He and I could sit and talk about grocery stores all day long. He had an absolute passion for it and that revved me up – just talking with him you knew it was in his blood and it’s in my blood,” said Almich.
    It is this sort of enthusiasm that is reflected in some pretty big improvements currently taking shape at the local grocery store. Beginning with the exterior – new siding, new paint, and structural work near the entry.
    Additionally, a sit-down patio area was created for customers to enjoy.  “We’ve had a couple cook outs. The idea is to get those going and give people a chance to sample some of the products in the store,” said Almich.
    Beginning next summer the space will also be available for use by local non-profits looking to raise funds for their particular cause. “They can come cook out here, I’ll advertise for them, give a good deal on product and they can use the traffic flow coming through here,” said Almich.
    And change isn’t just visible on the outside. The inside has had some adjustments to the layout, will have new paint, and currently all of the refrigeration cases in the store are in the process of being replaced. Almich says, “It’s a huge project which is expected to take about two and a half months.”
    “The neat part is my brother Travis, a foreman for Carlson Stewart, will be here installing all the cases. It is nice having him back in the store and he does a tremendous job.”  
    When all is said and done the space gained will allow for the deli and the meat departments to double in size and the produce section will gain a significant amount of space as well.
    It is this increased space, says Almich, that will allow for room to expand. “There is stuff we don’t have room for now, but when we get that extra space – we’ll make good use of it.”
    Customers will see more lines of cuts in the meat department, fresh herbs and an increased selection of produce – as well as the incorporation of more gluten free and organic products. And that’s just the beginning.
    Page 2 of 2 - The whole idea says Almich, “... is to build the store on freshness, to offer a superior product at a competitive price that is going to be fresh and high quality.”
    And growing up surrounded by a family of grocers, working first as a bag boy and eventually bakery manager – his grandpa Frank, his father Bill and his Uncle Jim, taught him a few things. Almich is quick to recognize the importance of having a good team in place along the way.
    “A lot of people in this store have been in the grocery business for many, many years and to be able to rely on them is important. Our customers know that we have dedicated employees that know what they’re doing.”
    And most encouraging adds Almich, “... is watching them in their new roles and more responsibilities, their excitement for what’s happening in the store and their willingness to go the extra mile – it’s all of them – all the departments. It’s really important to have good employees and we’re lucky to have a lot of them!”
    With an abundance of gratefulness for the team that surrounds him, he is also happy that team will include his wife Danielle who will be taking on bookkeeping responsibilities.
    He is also proud to have brought on board a team of local contractors dedicated to his mission, “It’s important that all the contractors feel like they’ve had a hand in this transformation – Fagen Engineering, Snortum’s Landscape and Design, Troy’s Electric, Zempel Decorating, Inc., L.A. Construction, Thein Moving Company, Steve Zumhofe Painting, The Sawmill, DC Signs, Stoney Brooke Enterprises, Jim Ford, Soine Construction, Hempel Masonry, Don Anderson and Jennifer Svobodny.”  
    Amongst all the changes, perhaps the biggest of all, the one that generates a great source of pride, will be that of the new grocery store sign which says “Almich’s Market.”
    “Growing up as a kid and working in the store, watching my grandpa and how he did things and the different ideas he had … and I just thought I want to be like that guy.”
    Over the years Almich has been well primed for this new venture, “I learned a lot over those fifteen years or so working alongside my Dad and Uncle, and then later with Dave and Jodi Bollman, it was a great experience”       
    And this he says, “Opens up a whole new chapter.”

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