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Stimmel's to close PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 15 May 2009 10:36
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"It's no coincidence when the economy became an issue our sales suffered. In November, sales were down from the previous year and continued to decline through winter. ... We tried to hang in there the last six months and just couldn't."
But fans who voted Stimmel's doughnuts the "Best in Wood County" for five years running, through the Sentinel-Tribune's annual summer survey, can keep their fingers crossed the doors will not remain locked.
"There's a chance we might reopen this store, whether it's a couple weeks or months down the road. We're looking to truncate the size of the store, reduce the overhead and possibly focus just on the bakery. Right now it's about 50-50. We'd be able to retain our key bakery employees. Our doughnuts, cookies, pies would remain the same."
But Stimmel admitted, "Right now that is more of a hope than a reality." Later he added, "It's difficult to promise anything. We'd love to reopen a smaller version of Stimmel's sometime in the near future."
He briefly described the process by which the store's popular doughnuts are made, resulting in raised and cake varieties which are "rich, full of flavor, delicious; unlike any other doughnut in Northwest Ohio. I don't feel I'm making some salacious claim," he said with a laugh. "They truly are the best."
Stimmel noted the site has had one doughnut fryer for over 20 years, Mark Strausbaugh, who's plied his craft there when it was both Tyrrell's Market and Stimmel's Market.
He has been in the grocery business for 19 years, including 13 years for Churchill's Supermarket where he served as vice president of operations. About six years ago "we had recognized a niche market that wasn't being served in Bowling Green, a great selection of craft beer and wine, Boar's Head deli meats, deli salads." He said Tyrrell's Market, which he purchased, had from-scratch pies, cookies and doughnuts. "It made sense to merge both ideas in one store."
During the five years it was opened, he expanded the Boar's Head line, added more homemade salads and increased the bakery's product list, including specialty breads.
Stimmel also enlarged its beer and wine selection until he said it grew into the largest, best selection of beer and wine in Northwest Ohio. He offered wine tastings which were popular. The last one, entitled "The Last Temptation of Stimmel's," will be May 23. "Come one, come all. I think we'll have a great crowd and be a lot of fun."
Stimmel said he and Lance Massey will continue to write their "From the Cellar" column in the Sentinel-Tribune, suggesting wines which can be purchased in the area.
As to the possibility of reopening, "We're exploring all of our options. We're looking at the scenario of getting rid of underperforming products and still having a deli and bakery. (The store) would be half the size it is. That is one of the ideas. That would tremendously relieve the pressure of overhead for us."
A sheet taped to the market's front door since Monday has informed customers of the store's pending demise. Stimmel said their response has been "one big group hug the last couple days. The reaction has been one of sadness but understanding."
He said his good-bye is from his heart. "We express our most sincere gratitude toward our loyal customers that we've been able to share our experiences and time with over the years. They'll be sorely missed. We have met such wonderful people through the opening of the store. We're certainly better off for having met and befriended so many people in town. It's been wonderful."
About 15 months ago Stimmel expanded in the grocery market by opening a second location in Napoleon, on North Perry Street. That store is closing May 16.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 May 2009 14:07
 

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