Cover photo: Going, going, gone! The butcher’s meat counter at Sun Fresh gradually disappears behind frozen food cases in the photo taken December 6. The black shelving on the right, once the frozen seafood section, will soon hold liquor. Photo by Kathy Feist.
Changes at Sun Fresh
By Kathy Feist
Shoppers at Sun Fresh grocery store in Red Bridge may have noticed a big change recently. The butcher counter in the back of the store has disappeared and replaced with cases of frozen food and shelving for more liquor.
“We were losing several thousands of dollars in wasted meat,” says store director Kathy Scott. “Everything that we sold in the service meat case was also available on the sales floor. This may be the reason why we had so few sales in the service case.”
She says Sun Fresh will still have two butchers, Bryan Mark and Kent Eaton, who will answer to a newly installed buzzer when needed. “If a person wants a single item, such as one sausage or one chicken breast, they can ring for a butcher,” she says.
The refrigerated cases that have replaced the butcher counter have created more space for newer products. “By adding the taller cases we can add up to an additional 40 frozen items in the meat department while making room for a 22-foot shelving unit to expand our selection in the liquor department,” Scott stated. That space is where the frozen seafood once existed.
Ball’s Food Stores, which purchased Lipari’s Sun Fresh in 2018 after its owner George Lipari passed away, has focused on the expansion of the liquor section called Harry’s Liquor.
In addition to creating space for more liquor, a refrigerated food bunker behind in front of the deli meat section is gone. Scott hopes the empty space will become a barbecue section.
“We want to be your neighborhood store,” says Scott, stating that the store is following the trends of what its customers are buying and not buying and making the necessary changes.