STARKE COUNTY – The North Judson grocery store, previously known as Ray’s Super Foods, is now under new ownership as of May 26, 2015. The closure of Ray’s Super Foods would have left North Judson without a grocery store. Nathan Origer, a resident of North Judson and the Pulaski County Economic Development Director, had just assisted Heartland Grocery purchase a store in Francesville and alerted the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) to its interest in Ray’s. Because Heartland had just purchased a store in Francesville, it was left with insufficient capital to fix important amenities at Ray’s.
The North Judson store needed new, efficient lighting, new lighting for the coolers, and a new cooling/refrigerator system among other items. Charles Weaver, executive director of the SCEDF, immediately contacted a NIPSCO Representative for incentives to upgrade lighting fixtures and review the store’s electrical rate structures, and he also recommended to the Town Council of North Judson that it use some of its Economic Development Income Tax funds to create a revolving loan fund to help with the needed improvements.
A revolving loan fund of $50,000 was established by the North Judson Town Council to assist the remodeling and updating of the previous Ray’s Super Foods. NIPSCO is providing incentives to replace the old inefficient lighting fixtures with new, highly efficient lighting fixtures in the ceiling and coolers. NIPSCO was able to offer Heartland Grocery a lower rate for power and reduce the required security deposit.
Scott Weaver, a managing partner of SAW Capital LLC, oversaw the purchasing of the new Heartland Market in North Judson and eagerly mentioned that it is a mission of the company to provide for small, local towns like North Judson. The company’s mission is to acquire small town grocery stores to be profitable and serve the county. Further improvements include a new Point of Sale System to make checking out easier, accessible for credit cards, new lighting, painting, and the updating of different areas to make the store more aesthetically pleasing. Scott Weaver was pleased to say, “Without help from Charles Weaver and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, none of this would have been accomplished. Their knowledge, contacts, and incentives helped in many ways. Their awareness of the store in North Judson and supportive nature made this purchase possible. I, this company, and the town, are grateful for what the Starke County Economic Development Foundation helped achieve.” With the help from SCEDF, NIPSCO, and the North Judson Town Council, the Heartland store is open for business.
The Starke County Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure and workforce development. For more information regarding Starke County Development Foundation, visit www.starkecounty.com.