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Gregg’s Neighborhood Market turning 15: “Your Friendly Neighborhood Market” succeeds with service

RESERVE — Almost 15 years have passed since Gregg Simon took over the Weber’s Supermarket Foodliner in Reserve for a complete overhaul of interior and exterior renovations.

The store now known as Gregg’s Neighborhood Market opened at 148 Central Avenue in the early 1960s, back when there was no need for a large parking lot. Locals from surrounding neighborhoods walked to the store for groceries, which were once condensed to the right wing of the building.

A shoe store stood in the middle, separating the market from Mollere furniture.

By the time Simon arrived to work as manager in 1989, the storefront was exclusively a grocery market. In the years that followed, Simon watched the business decline as aging equipment presented a dire need for refurbishment.

Known for friendly service, Gregg’s Neighborhood Market is located at 148 Central Avenue in Reserve.

Opportunity for change came in 2004, when longtime owner Harvey Weber exited the business after a robbery and placed the store’s future in Simon’s capable hands.

The store name changed to Gregg’s Neighborhood Market and underwent major changes.

As new owner, Simon painted walls, replaced lights and ceiling tiles, purchased new store cases, procured a generator and renovated the dilapidated outside of the building.

One of the biggest transformations was the renovation of the meat department, which now features a refrigerated area and cutting room.

Gregg’s Neighborhood Market offers popular brands of groceries, alcohol, lottery tickets and a Coinstar machine to transfer change into cash or no-fee e-gift cards.

The store also accepts payment of utility and water bills from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Competition has strengthened over the years, Simon said, noting big chain supermarkets and dollar stores take a share of local grocery business.

Employees Desiree Porche and Rose Haydel stand in front of the meat section, which was renovated after Gregg Simon assumed ownership.

Simon said Gregg’s, affectionately known as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Market,” stands apart in smiling faces and individualized customer service.

“We get compliments all of the time because all of our people are very friendly,” Simon said.

“That’s what makes us stand out. The employees treat our customers well and thank them. It’s convenient. We try to get people in and out quick so you’re not waiting in lines like in a big chain store.”

Rosalind Clement, a 10-year employee of Gregg’s Neighborhood Market, said friendly service is the store’s defining characteristic.

“It’s more personable,” Clement said.

“You get to see more of the same customers everyday. It’s a friendlier place compared to some bigger stores, and I think that makes it better.”

Owner Gregg Simon, left, stands with customer Chance Mollere Thursday morning.

According to Clement, Gregg’s Neighborhood Market stays actively involved by providing groceries to churches for Lenten fish fries and donating to public and private schools.

“He (Simon) donates a lot and does a lot of things for the churches and schools,” Clement said. “That kind of thing makes it good for the community and makes people want to come here and shop.”

Customers leave with printed fliers for weekly specials in their grocery bag.

Current specials, available through Tuesday, include 99-cent two-liter Coca-Cola products, $10.99 3-pound boxes of Veron smoked sausage, two for $4 24-packs of bottled water and fryer drumsticks for 89 cents per pound.

Store hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 985-536-2765.