A ribbon cutting for the store’s grand opening was held at KJ’s Fresh Market in Chetek on Tuesday morning, Aug. 13. Pictured cutting the ribbon is Keith Johanneson, chief executive officer. Pictured left to right, in front, are Michelle Marcon, store manager Lance Modl, Johanneson, Chetek Mayor Jeff Martin and Barb Kessinger. Behind Martin and Kessinger are Jeff Hehnen and Randy Jaeger, both of KJ’s. Not pictured are representatives from the Chetek Chamber of Commerce and SpartanNash.

Company leaders from KJ’s of WI were in at KJ’s Fresh Market in Chetek for a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Tuesday morning, Aug. 13.

The chief executive officer, Keith Johanneson, spoke about the company’s long history, commitment to the community and service to local customers before cutting the ribbon.

“We like the community of Chetek,” Johanneson said, adding it reminds him of other resort communities in Minnesota and North Dakota, where his company has other stores.

“We want to bring back stability to the market and hope to regain the confidence of the customers,” he said.

Asked about the company’s relationship with grocery supplier SpartanNash, Johanneson said they had a great relationship.

Previously, Gordy’s Market Inc. owned grocery stores across the region before SpartanNash and other creditors took action against the chain for unpaid bills. The former Gordy’s stores in Chetek, Barron and Cornell were aquired by SpartanNash and later sold to KJ’s.

“They wanted a retailer that could fix it, and we could do it,” Johanneson said. “We’re one of their largest customers.” Eight of SpartanNash’s top executives attended the ribbon cutting to show their support, Johanneson added.

He said the new stores were a great growth opportunity for his company and with his company’s buying power, they can keep prices lower, he explained.

In other communities they operate in, their stores are a part of the chambers of commerce and work with local food shelves, breast cancer awareness and veterans groups.

Specials and giveaways were being offered as part of the grand opening. See KJ’s grand opening ad on Page B10, with another ad next week.

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