NEW PALESTINE — For four months, New Palestine residents have shopped under the Marsh sign hanging above the doors of the building, wondering what it would become.
This week, they got their answer.
The former New Palestine Marsh store, 5802 U.S. 52, is one of 14 groceries that will be converted into Needler’s Fresh Market stores, part of the Fresh Encounter Inc. family of companies, its parent company, Ohio-based Generative Growth II announced Tuesday.
Michael and Susan Zeilinga have been shopping at the Marsh store for years, and so far, they have seen very little change in the way the grocery store has been operated since it was officially sold several months ago, they said.
The New Palestine residents prefer to buy their meats and fruits fresh and are looking forward to seeing what the new rebranding by Needler’s will entail.
“I think it’s going to take maybe six months or so for all of us to get used to them bringing in a new brand,” Susan Zeilinga said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
The Indiana Marsh stores receiving the new branding are located in Indianapolis (two stores), New Palestine, Marion, Columbus, Hartford City, Elwood, Tipton, Pendleton, Richmond and Greensburg. Three Ohio stores also will be branded as Needler’s Fresh Markets. Officials said the new interior and exterior branding will be complete by Nov. 1; branding will begin appearing on advertising in September.
“Customers can expect a clean, fresh look with our marketing and communication,” said Julie Anderson, vice president of marketing and partner for Generative Growth II.
Employees at the former Marsh were invited to continue working for the supermarket, officials said.
The Zeilingas were thankful to see many of the same friendly faces they’d grown accustomed to, despite the change in ownership.
It means a lot to the residents of the small town, Michael Zeilinga said.
For Needler’s Fresh Market shoppers, the branding change means an emphasis on sourcing local fresh produce and providing high quality in-store products in the bakery and deli, said Michael S. Needler Jr., CEO of Fresh Encounter in a news release.
“Our fresh meat offering is second to none,” he said. “Customers will enjoy premium Angus beef, all-natural pork and Miller Amish Country poultry.”
Officials with Fresh Encounter first announced the New Palestine store would operate under their management in late June, but it wasn’t revealed what the store would be named at that time. The New Palestine grocery store was one of 26 Marsh stores in Indiana and Ohio that were sold to Fresh Encounter and Kroger Co. at an auction in June.
Generative Growth II, headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, purchased 15 Marsh stores in Indiana and Ohio in June for $8 million. All Generative Growth locations are managed by Fresh Encounter, also based in Findlay, Ohio, according to a news release.
Fresh Encounter currently manages 59 retail locations. The brands under the Fresh Encounter umbrella include Sack ‘n Save, Community, Chief, Great Scot, King Saver and Remke in addition to Needler’s Fresh markets, according to a news release.