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KROGER CELEBRATES GRAND REOPENING IN WAYNEDALEKroger Central Division celebrated the grand reopening of the company’s 7008 Bluffton Road store in Fort Wayne-Waynedale recently.

The total economic investment in this store is $2.1 million. Kroger’s project was led by Project Manager Sandy Essert. This investment also strengthens Kroger’s workforce commitment in Fort Wayne.

This store project is the last project as part of Kroger’s more than $100 million commitment to new stores, expanded stores and store remodels. Those projects spanned 2008 thru 2012, following the acquisition of Scott’s Food & Pharmacy in 2007 and the subsequent purchase of four shopping centers in Fort Wayne. A major remodel of the Clinton Street Scott’s is in process and the company still plans to add several more fuel centers in the northeast Indiana region.

According to President of Kroger Central Division Bob Moeder, “The grocery, pharmacy and fuel markets are very competitive in Indiana, but also very important for The Kroger Co. Our solid success in the marketplace allows us to make significant economic and work force investments in our stores. This $2.1 million investment on Bluffton Road allows us to continue providing quality products, competitive prices and outstanding customer service, while being a supportive community partner. The remodeled store focuses on giving our customers exactly what they want to see in their store. With one of the largest capital plans in the United States essentially complete, Kroger will focus on leveraging these investments over four years, taking care of our local associates and ensuring we provide our customers exactly what they want in this region.”

Moeder continued, “We are very proud of Store Manager Max Pease and his team. Max, who has seven years of experience in the grocery business, did an exceptional job in keeping his store team focused on serving our customers during construction. All of us are very proud of his dedicated service and leadership.

I also am very honored to recognize the longest-serving associate in this Fort Wayne store, Connie Vaubel, who has worked for Kroger since 1969 (43 years). All of us are very proud of her dedicated service and leadership in mentoring newer associates.

Today we also celebrate a very important operational milestone. In a fast-paced, high-pressure retail environment, this store team focused very effectively on safety and has gone more than two years without an OSHA recordable workplace injury. I am very proud that Max is keeping our store associates and customers safe every day.”

The Waynedale store offers customers:
Retail space of 39,881 square feet
An updated produce department
New U-Scans and new registers
A modified entry with new bascart storage
Upgraded security
New nature’s market department
Renovated pharmacy with walk-up window
Updated meat and seafood department
An updated deli and bakery department
New self-checkouts
New break room for associates
New restrooms
A new row of frozen cases

The store’s management team includes:
Store Manager: Max Pease
Co-Manager: Steve Buckel
Co-Manager: Brent Harrold
Technology Manager: Stephanie Hartman
Fuel Manager: Timothy Miller
Front End Manager: Margie Diehl
Pharmacy Manager: Richard Koomler
Drug/GM Manager: Robin Waikel
Floral Manager: Tabetha Brake
Deli/Bakery Manager: Danette Jewell
Dairy Manager: Ben Busbee
Grocery Manager: Steve Moeller
Produce Manager: Kevin Oliver
­Meat Manager: John Diehl
Frozen Food Manager: Dave Niedermeyer
Community Ambassador: NaToya Alexander

During the grand reopening event, Kroger made $36,063 in contributions to the local community, including: Customer and associate donations of $21,563 to Community Harvest Food Bank from the “Share Your Feast” food drive, plus $12,500 in matching funds from Kroger, for a total of $34,063. A donation of $1,000 to Waynedale Elementary and in addition a donation of $1,000 to Indian Village School.

Cindy Cornwell

Cindy Cornwell

She started her newspaper career over 10 years ago beginning as a sales executive, progressing as copy editor, graphic and paper designer, and former Executive Editor. She enjoys writing about the great place to live, shop, work and play; Waynedale. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer