Within the next 10 days Myers Group, LLC may negotiate ownership of the lease currently held by Alaskan and Proud Grocery.
“We’re working hard to bring a first-class, full-service store to Juneau,” said Tyler Myers, president of Myers Group LLC (www.myersgroupllc.com).
However, Myers is cautious to declare success.
“We’ve got a few little things to get through,” hesaid.
Myers said his goal is to switch ownership of the Willoughby grocery before Alaskan and Proud is slated to close — the first week of September — before the current employees are forced to find work elsewhere, he said.
Myers said he has been in A&P two times now.
“I was impressed with the employees,” Myers said.
If Myers Group is successful in its bid for the Foodland Center lease, Myers said his next step would be to meet with current A&P employees.
“Let the employees know who we are, what we offer,” Myers said. He said he hopes they will decide to stay with the new grocer.
“They’ll do a marvelous job,” Myers said. “We have just under 400 employees and very little turnover. People tend to stay.”
The company promotes from within, Myers said.
“It’s a winning combination, a formula that works,” Myers said.
While the store’s employees impressed Myers, the store itself, he said, was a bit dated.
“We’ll do a full remodel, bring it up to our pretty high standards,” Myers said.
Myers Group, based in Seattle, Wash., owns several groceries, service stations, hardware stores and other retail operations. Many of its operations are located outside Seattle.
“I can fly to Juneau faster than I can drive to some of Myers’ other stores,” Myers said.
Myers said his company focuses on community grocers, some of which are IGAs.
“Whenever we go into a community we plan on 30, 40, 50 years,” Myers said. “We get involved in a community.”
The store would be a full-service grocery with meat, deli and bakery departments, Myers said. It would stock natural specialty items and organic and traditional goods, he said.
While the downtown grocery will use the same vendors as Myers Group’s other stores, Myers said Juneau customers have a say in the final store.
“If a customer wants a specific kind of hummus,” Myers said. “We’ve spent our careers finding that special kind of hummus,” Myers said.
Myers said his stores welcome locally-grown food.
On top of stocking local favorites, Myers said, “we’ll bring some new things that Juneau hasn’t seen before.”
Myers said he is confident his grocery can succeed where Alaskan and Proud did not.
“I’m confident in the staff we have and the staff in the store,” Myers said. “We’re going to be very successful in Juneau and give the community what it wants.”
• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.