The Rockford Ric’s Food Center Store Director David Brickner said his store is buzzing with anticipation for the Taste of Ric’s event to be held this Saturday, June 1 from noon to 3 p.m. For those that have yet to visit a Taste of Ric’s at the store located at 6767 Belding Road, this is an event you don’t want to miss. Whether you are a shopper who regularly visits or someone who just wants to check out the store, the event is a good time to pop in.
There is always a high level of energy and enthusiasm at the Taste of Ric’s events, where many of the store’s vendors visit personally to talk about, and offer free samples of, their product. Try samples at the meat department—a specialty department that the store is known for—for sure the trademark kielbasa, and often other samples. The vendor who gives crab cake samples, is, like the other vendors, not proffering a smidgen of taste, but an entire cake, often on sale during the event. But free, large samples are not the most interesting part of the event for all.
As the country leans toward a trend of knowing where our food comes from, this special day is a perfect chance to put a face to a name brand, and even ask questions from the family that makes that really good salsa, talk to representatives who supply the store with a high-quality brand of lunchmeat or learn that many everyday products sold at Ric’s are not only Michigan made but are produced here in West Michigan.
Representatives from Boar’s Head Premium deli meats and cheeses usually present a surprisingly tasteful combination sample, pairing their meats and cheese samples with a slice of fruit or crunchy veggie. There are usually vendors who offer an organic product—last year a company that makes fresh organic bread—who are happy to tell you why their wares are wonderful.
Brickner said his staff is always excited to see so many customers in one day, and although it is a hard day of work, everyone is thrilled with the chance to show off and thank both loyal and new customers to the building.
Five years ago the Ric’s Food Center opened and anticipated getting to know the area and the customers. The timing could have been better as the home building business dropped sharply and the development slated to go up around the store was stalled. Today the family-owned chain of groceries is thrilled with how well the Rockford Ric’s is doing.
Brickner attributes the store’s success with the personal service that is the Ric’s trademark. “We believe in a quality experience when you shop,” Brickner said. “We have no self check-outs, no self-carry out.” He said he thinks people appreciate that Ric’s puts its motto, ‘A Smile Down Every Aisle’ into every day with its customer service.
With a Hawaiian theme, expect the staff to be duded out in laid-back beach clothing in anticipation of the fun, sunny days that will eventually grace West Michigan, although perhaps not to the extent of our tropical, volcanic state in the Pacific Ocean. Each Taste of Ric’s offers a theme for the day, although the smiles and samples are the real stars.
In addition to celebrating five years in the community, the Ric’s family has another reason to be extra happy this summer. With the economy picking up and proof of success in surviving the first years in a new location, the Ric’s building has been purchased by the company. This clear investment in Rockford of ownership of the building means this Taste of Ric’s is the first time the store can not only say to the community, “Welcome,” but can also say, “Welcome to our home.”