Shoppers at the grocery store on Lincoln Avenue in Lebanon and motorists driving by may notice that the name has changed from Zweier’s FoodKart to Gristick’s Fresh Market.
The name may have changed, but the 10,000-square-foot grocery store continues to be under the ownership of the Gristick family — Sue and Gary Gristick Sr. and sons Gary Jr. and Zach. Gary Sr. said the family remains committed to serving the grocery needs of the community.
He explained that the family purchased Zweier’s about five years ago. At that time all the equipment was replaced including deli and meat cases, bakery and kitchen equipment and equipment used by the fresh meat department.
“We’re a family-owned market serving the local community, so we’re continuing the tradition started by the Zweier family,” he said. “We’re an independent grocer, and we like it that way, Gary Jr. added.
Zweier’s FoodKart was launched by the Zweier family in 1921 and became a staple in the local community. According to information on Gristick’s Fresh Market website, the Gristick family became part of the grocery industry when Gary Sr. and wife Sue purchased Foodland in 1994. In 1997 they purchased Zweier’s from the late Tom Zweier.
Twenty years later a second generation of the Gristick family — Gary Jr. and Zach — entered the business. Gary Sr. said in the past year Gary Jr. and Zach have handled most of the day-to-day operations of the store.
Rebranding the store as Gristick’s has been a long-term goal. “The name change is the last step in our rebranding; we’ve rolled out a new website, and we’ll be making some slight changes to it over the next few months. We tried to think of everything for the rollout, but we’ve found that there are some things we hadn’t thought about that need to be part of the website,” Gary Sr. said.
“The important thing for our customers is that although the name has changed, it’s under the same ownership and they’ll still see the same products and the same friendly faces to serve them. A good many of our staff members, especially our department managers, have been with us a long-time. We focus on customer interaction — we don’t have any self-check-outs, and you can still buy groceries and have them taken to your car,” he added.
The “fresh” in Fresh Market is a focus at Gristick’s. Gary Sr. said the store features fresh produce from local farms and local products like Van Winkle’s Opera Fudge and locally sourced dairy items including milk from a Lebanon dairy.
There are four in-house butchers who fill the meat cases with items such as beef, chicken and sausage (there’s 15 rotating sausage recipes). Meat can be custom-cut.
Gristick’s also has an onsite smoke house. “We do a lot of double-smoked hams, especially for the Holidays,” Gary Sr. said.
Gristick’s also has a kitchen case for the 20 to 30 salads that are made fresh daily. Gary Sr. said the market is known for its chicken salad, which is made using Zweier’s recipe, but there’s also tuna salad, cole slaw and pepper cabbage. Homemade soups, which he said are popular in the cold months, are prepared in the kitchen.
The in-house bakery prepares freshly made rolls and bread as well as baked goods including cupcakes, pies, cookies, whoopee pies and cakes. Dessert trays are also available by special order.
“We have things in smaller single-serving sizes to make it easier for people living alone, especially senior citizens,” Gary Sr. said. “We also have a wide variety of heat & serve items, which makes it easy for families on the go as well as single people,” Zach added.
Home delivery is also offered. “We were probably the first store in Lebanon to offer delivery,” Gary Sr. said, “We still do it the old-fashioned way — people call in and we write down the order. In the future we plan to offer online ordering, too.”
Gristick’s Fresh Market is located at 505 S. Lincoln Ave., Lebanon. Store hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. More information including weekly specials is available at www.gristicksfreshmarket.com.
Zach Gristick (left) and Gary Gristick Jr. (right) pose in their store’s produce department. (Will Trostel) Gristick’s showcases local produce by putting “Home Grown” branding in its advertising. (Will Trostel) Gary Gristick Jr. organizing shelving for presentation. (Will Trostel) Zach Gristick organizing shelves for presentation. (Will Trostel) Gristick’s meat display, some of which is bought from local vendors. (Will Trostel) Gristick’s also packages it’s own premade deli trays, like ones seen here. (Will Trostel)
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