Pownal Store Offers Discount FoodsBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Pownal, Vt. - Sunshine Sauer is a married mother of three children and said she knows how very, very, far family funds have to stretch these days. School clothes, vehicle fuel and utility costs are decimating even the most frugal budgets.
|Neil Krawczyk and Leanne Silber have opened a "Discount Foods And More" store on Route 7 in Pownal, Vt..|
But an Aug. 29 shopping excursion to the Route 7 Discount Foods store opening day brought a smile to Sauer's face.
"This is awesome," she said as she moved from aisle to aisle and perused the range of non-perishable foods, personal hygiene items and household supply products. "This is so clean and neat. There's so much here, the prices are awesome and they've done a great job."
"They" are Neil Krawczyk and Leanne Silber, who once operated the space as "The Good Old Days" ice cream parlor. The restaurant closed during late spring of 2005 and the premises had been on the selling block for months.
A successful sale evaded Silber and Krawczyk, who maintain their home at an on-premises apartment, and the couple decided to find another use for the property.
The couple considered possibilities and sought some input from a group of area residents, Krawczyk said.
Tracy Diaz is employed at the store.
And The Survey Said....Cut Food Costs!
"We sent around a little [survey] and people thought something like [the store] was a good idea," he said. "And [Silber] thought it was a good idea. It's really helpful for the seniors."
The discount foods store will likely benefit town residents employed at seasonal occupations who often face lay-offs, those whose wages are within a few dollars of minimum wage, and families with school-age children.
In short, the store hopes to benefit all town residents and those who drive along Route 7.
"It's getting too tough for people," Krawczyk said. "People don't want to pay the prices that they pay at the small stores but they don't want to have to spend all their gas driving out of town to get to the supermarkets all the time. Now they don't have to."
Stock is likely to change because Krawczyk and Silber cannot control what discount items their suppliers deliver. Deliveries occur on a monthly basis.
"It's like Christmas, you don't know what they're going to bring," Krawczyk said.
Food, Personal Care Items, Cleansers, And More
Opening day found an abundance of brand-name products such as tooth whiteners, toothpaste, shampoo and other hair care items, skin care items, bath soaps, laundry detergents, disposable diapers,hair dyes, household cleansers, paper towels, toilet paper, pet food and more non-food items. Food items included brand-name cereals, pasta, jarred pasta sauce, sugar, flour, coffee, peanut butter, juice boxes, canned and bottled juices, pickles, olives, pasta side dish mixes and more.
Items line the shelves at Pownal's discount-priced food store.
Prices offered generous savings; canned tuna was priced from $.60 to $1, and 10-ounce containers of Grey Poupon mustard with horseradish were priced at $1. A 28-ounce spray bottle of Windex window cleaner was priced at $1.75, as was a 32-ounce spray bottle of Lysol cleanser.
A $.25 bin holds items that show signs of some damage, such as dented cans. A bin of sample-sized items such as deodorants and other personal care items offer the products at 5 for $1.
"It was pretty busy in here all morning and people said they were coming back," Krawczyk said. "People really liked the selection and the prices. And almost everybody said something about how clean it is in here."
Seeking Approval To Accept Food Stamps
Parents appeared especially excited about the juice boxes and a selection of brand-name microwaveable meals popular with children, he added.
Also currently in stock are some first-aid items and a selection of makeup with brand names that include Revlon, Cover Girl, and L'oreal.
Silber said that she has begun the required process to gain federal government approval to accept food stamps. She is hoping to receive approval notification within the next two to three weeks, she said.
Household products are sold at the store, which opened on Aug. 29.
"For now, we plan to stay with non-perishable foods," she said. "That is the plan for the immediate future."
Discount Foods is located on Route 7 across from the Pownal Elementary School and the Oak Hill Child Care Center. The store accepts cash and checks as payment for purchases.
The store is open Tues.-Thurs. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.. The store is closed on Sun. and Mon..
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-823-9367.