Chamber of Commerce
August '20 Featured Business
August 24, 2020
August 24, 2020
Sometimes, you don't know how good you have it when you are used to exceptional service and quality from our local businesses. And yet, somehow, Cheryl and Doug Niemuth have developed their Thorp Supervalu grocery store into a place where you can identify their value right away. In fact, it becomes evident as soon as you walk in that Thorp Supervalu is better than many grocery stores. From the time you walk in and see the smiles from the hard-working employees to what feels like Supervalu being the cleanest store around, it is easy to see why people travel from far and wide to shop at our local grocer.
Thorp Supervalu not only sets the bar for a quality grocery store but has become a leader among Thorp businesses with their commitment to providing excellent service and giving back to the local community.
We sat down with Cheryl for an honest conversation about her store's place in our great city. The questions we asked are not precisely the same as below, but a summary of her answers. We find them revealing into her values and character.
Q: What separates your store from the competition?
A: That's easy. Our employees have worked in the area for years and years — over 20 years in a few cases. When selecting new employees, we always focus on if the person cares about the community and serving our customers. Really, we just start with people who care.
Q: Why invest so much of your time and money into a store that has near-monopoly on local customers? Why go that extra mile?
A: I think it's because we are very driven, which is not a fault, but a plus. We are always looking for the next thing. We liken it to farming where the farm's money is not the farmer's, but the farm's. Reinvestment is essential and part of our culture. If you are genuinely invested in your business, then you have to reinvest.
Q: What impact does your store have on the local community?
A: I don't think that it's a lot outside of taxes. I believe that the local industrial businesses and other major employers are really the ones that give back to the community with strong job creation. I do ask that people looking for fundraising or a community event come to us last so we can help plug all the holes and make sure the event is taken care of. We are a grocery store, and we can do almost anything to support an event. It is such a joy to provide the bridge to getting things done for our community.
Q: How does the community impact your business?
A: Obviously, when the community is healthy, we are healthy. When the city suffers, we suffer. Strong communities help the grocery store, which a good grocer understands. We service the people who work locally, so strong businesses are so crucial to our community. We are only one slice of the pie. Suppose the companies that provide employment for so many residents leave our town. In that case, those people commute to where the paying jobs are. They ultimately shop in those new locations, thereby taking money spent in Thorp and spending it somewhere else. I want to contribute to creating a well-rounded city. We are all in this together, and Thorp Supervalu is only one cog in the wheel.
Q: Any big news coming up for the store?
A: Sure thing. Our deli and meat department are getting new self-service cases. This is a considerable investment on our part, and most people may not even notice these cases. However, this purchase is going to enrich our store and make our business even more robust. Also, we are getting a new website which I am really excited about!
We believe that Cheryl was more than a bit modest on her grocery store's impact on this community. Our local residents have expressed as much. The value of having such a loving store dedicated to the growth and welfare of their community is not shared around this great country. Too often, it can feel like your dollar is more important than your self. It is so very refreshing to know a couple of hard-working people trying to do the right thing even when they are not being watched. Doug and Cheryl are exceptional individuals representing that absolute best of what it means to be a Wisconsinite.
Suppose you are looking for a great grocery shopping experience where you can feel confident that your business is valued. In that case, the Thorp Supervalu store is clean and well-kept. You can feel sure your money is going to a local community advocate. And their fried chicken is pretty fantastic!
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