BY KATHY GIBBONS
TRAVERSE CITY — Family Fare has come to Traverse City.
The Spartan Stores-owned Glen's markets at Chum's Corner and on Eighth Street in Traverse City have been rebranded as Family Fares. New to the northern Michigan market, Family Fare is a well-known Spartan Stores' brand in the Grand Rapids area.
Directors of both Traverse City stores said the new moniker doesn't particularly change the product mix or the way the stores do business. However, both have been undergoing renovations and enhancements including a new Quick Stop gas station in Chum's Corner — an investment of more than $5.5 million by Spartan, according to a press release.
"We love being a part of the Traverse City community, and our two Family Fare stores' remodeling efforts and new Quick Stop are just a few examples of how we are continually investing in the communities we serve," said Mark Lamberies, Spartan Stores' divisional vice president of retail operations-north.
Rocky Welch, director of the Eighth Street store, said as Spartan continues to update what were approximately 30-plus Glen's markets around the region, others will also be rebranded.
A.J. Swander, director of the Chum's Corner location, said his store has been under major renovation for the past three months. The deli, bakery and produce areas were enlarged. There's brand new flooring, lighting and cold and freezer cases, and a new "wall of wine" and expanded selection of Michigan wines. Besides the Quick Stop that opened earlier this year, there's a drive-through pharmacy now too.
"The store needed a facelift," Swander said. "It's completely revamped from outside in."
Eighth Street added a full-service meat and seafood counter, updated interior decor, installed new touch-screen computer registers, updated signage and replaced and updated deli cases in addition to painting the exterior. Coming soon is a produce department upgrade with new cases.
Both managers said customers have generally reacted favorably, with some confusion about what the difference is.
Some have barely noticed, Welch said. Before the stores became Glen's markets in 2003, they were both Prevo's. And to many, they still are.
"Most of my customers will be on the phone saying, 'I'm at Prevo's,'" Welch said. "It's been Glen's since 2003 and they haven't noticed yet.
"So as long as it's my local grocery and nothing's changing, they're good with it."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled as part of the grand reopening celebration for both stores on Monday, Nov. 12, at 9 a.m. at the Chum's Corner location.