LORAIN, Ohio — A family-owned, full-service grocery store is celebrating 95 years of service to the Lorain County community.
“Even though the Ford plant left and US Steel kind of went behind a bit with their business, people still have to eat,” explains Meat Manager Robert Kritz.
Kel Fligner’s father and grandfather started the business as a small fruit stand in 1924. It’s expanded over the years and is now 35,000 square feet.
It’s Lorain’s longest standing grocery store.
“We can’t duplicate what we’ve built there, this is one of those unique things that we can try to put a different store in different areas but it won’t be the same,” says Kritz.
“We had a lot of people ask us to build here and come into our community and those kind of things but it’s better being in one spot and being a destination.”
He says people come from all over Ohio to shop at Fligner’s because of quality products and quality service.
Customer Jim Russell of Vermilion says he comes at least twice a month.
“They’re one of the few places that still have the cuts of meat that you can’t get in supermarkets,” he says.
“I like to use the smoker so I come here and get all my pork and everything for that.”
Lorainite Linda Leyva says it’s a staple in the community. “They’re family oriented and you’ve got your good service, they come out and take your bags to the car if you like,” she says.
“They’re really nice, they’re so sweet, everybody’s so helpful every time I go in there.”
They keep up with grocery store and social media trends to stay relevant to new generations.
In August, Fligner’s will start an online store where customers can have their groceries delivered.
“I really want to thank all of the customers and our suppliers, those people that really made us who we are today and if it wasn’t for them Fligner’s would not be here,” says Kritz.