Just months after rebranding its stores with bright new store-front signs, Schuette’s Market has embarked on a radical reset on the inside. Mike Schuette, owner of the grocery chain that has stores in Highland, Breese, Carlyle and the Lil’ Rose General Store in St. Rose, talks about what’s new at the stores.
Q: How is Schuette’s Market changing?
A: Well, to start with, we’re adding hundreds of new items, especially health food: new fresh produce, new organics store-wide, more gluten-free, new specialty products, as well as more natural and whole foods.
Q: What else?
A: We’re busy rolling out new smokers in all of our delis. We’ve been sampling barbecue ribs and pulled pork, and the response has been amazing.
Q: When can we get some?
A: You can get them every Tuesday and Saturday evenings. Come on in. They don’t last too long. We’ll be adding more days soon.
Q: Organic is growing in popularity it seems?
A: Yes, it is based on the number of organic item requested by our customers. We’ve responded by adding a whole range of Wild Harvest Organic products, as well as Cascadian Farm cereals and frozen fruits and vegetables, Stonyfield dairy products and Earthbound Farms dairy products.
Q: Some people see the empty shelves in your stores and assume you’re going out of business or selling up?
A: We admit the stores were difficult to shop through all the reset changes, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to customers. We had to make space for all the new products to come in, as well as do a complete “reset” of our stores. It’s a complicated process which involved moving most of our existing shelving around. We’re a small family business and it takes a bit longer than the big corporations to do these types of reset.
Q: What exactly is a “reset”?
A: We are creating a more open, customer-friendly environment in our stores. To do this, we’re changing the layout of our aisles, opening up areas and reducing shelf heights. We want the customer to be able to see all of the new products that they have requested.
Q: Many customers still know you as SuperValu. Are you owned by SuperValu?
A: No, we’re a family-owned business. The business has been in the Schuette family for over 150 years. SuperValu continues to be one of our main suppliers. In the past, it was often customary to have the main supplier’s name over the front door. We’ve been called “Piggly Wiggly,” “Tom Boy,” “SSS” and “Califo Markets” over the years.
Q: So why the change of name?
A: We wanted to celebrate the fact that we are a family-owned business that lives and works in our community. We have a diverse range of local suppliers, so SuperValu doesn’t really reflect who we are. “Schuette’s Market” better represents the diversity of fresh, quality, local meat, produce, dairy and baked goods that we are able to offer today in our stores.
Q: We keep hearing times are tough. What challenges are you facing?
A: We know that our customers are facing tough times. We work hard to find great deals and new products that they are demanding.
Q: The environment is important to many customers. What are you doing to help preserve our planet?
A: We believe in saving the planet. We already recycle as much of our cardboard packaging and customer returned plastic grocery bags as we can. We’re exploring new sustainable energy sources, such as solar power. Electricity is one of our largest operating expenses, and unfortunately, we operate in areas that often have significantly higher power costs than our competitors.
Q: What does the future hold for Schuette’s Market?
A: We’re very focused on implementing all of these changes and adding to our ready-to-go meal offerings. and then it’s on to the next project
Q: Has everything changed at Schuette’s Market?
A: Absolutely not. We still offer the most local fresh and smoked meats, fresh produce, fresh dairy and in-store baked and fried bakery goods in the area. Also, if you can’t find an item you need, just ask, and we will get it for you and call you when it arrives. Last but not least, we still offer thousands of seasonal-locked prices on grocery, dairy and frozen foods in addition to our advertised “Sunny Deals.” So there are still plenty of the good old reasons to choose to “Shop Happy.”
Schuette’s Market At A Glance
Highland Location: 1100 Broadway
Highland Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. & 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday
Highland Store Phone: 654-2259