David Brickner, store director at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road, is pleased to announce another of the store’s super popular Super Secret Sales on Friday, June 8. “Maybe it is because it gives some new people a chance to see what a terrific store we have, or the really super hot values, but people love these sales,” Brickner said of the popularity of the events. The store is becoming known for the frequency of timely events and specials, from the Taste of Ric’s free sampling days to Saturday afternoon beer- and wine-tasting, and now the secret sales. Limits are restricted on the amounts of the sale items to ensure that patrons throughout the day are able to take part in the “secret sales.” According to Brickner, four or five items from each of the grocery store’s departments are offered at “super hot values.” This upcoming super sale is the fourth for the Rockford Ric’s store, which are offered about once every two months. Be sure to stop in and see what the sale items are and check out the store’s other great regular values.
Celebrate store’s fourth year serving Rockford by BETH ALTENA Taste the experience of dozens of vendors serving you their very best—all for free Saturday, Dec. 3 from noon to 4 p.m. at the annual Christmas Taste of Ric’s event at the local food center at 6767 Belding Road. Store Director David Brickner said the event has evolved naturally through the excitement and enthusiasm of his staff and customers. “It happened on its own,” Brickner stated of the generosity of vendors who seem to almost try to outdo one another with the impressive quality and quantity of free samples they hand out with wide smiles. The store holds the Taste of Ric’s events twice a year and this one is a special event as it also serves as a birthday party to the local store, which opened its doors four years ago. As many as four thousand people visit during the Taste events, but Brickner said an exact count is difficult during the busy occasions. Live entertainment always adds to the party-like atmosphere. This year the Rockford High School choir will share their voices as they perform holiday favorites. In the past, horse-drawn carriage rides have added to the holiday festivities. Santa will be ready with his elf helpers to hear youngsters’ Christmas wishes and pose for a photo or two. Brickner said those who stop in to the store—either regular customers or people who have yet to experience what a family-owned, customer-service oriented store like Ric’s has to offer—are always pleasantly surprised. The samples vendors offer are always generous portions, a marked contrast to the typical tiny-spoon tastes provided at food shows. “I don’t think they are shamed into giving more,” speculated Brickner of the vendor generosity. “I think they realize this is a big deal.” A chance to interact with thousands of customers and show off what you do best is a big deal to any local product provider, as is proof by the continuing success of the Rockford Community Expo each March, but also proved by the turnout for each Taste of Ric’s. Brickner said the store invites as many of their vendors as can be comfortably accommodated for each event—a choreography of no mean feat. He said the Tastes are so popular […]
Over 30 vendors to offer samples, savings by BETH ALTENA “This is our chance to showcase what we are capable of,” said Ric’s Food Center Store Director David Brickner. He refers to the winter Taste of Ric’s to be held this Saturday, December 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at Ric’s, 6767 Belding Road. The event is also a celebration of the store’s three-year anniversary. “We’ve had our share of problems. Being here three years, maybe people will realize we are here for the long haul and plan to be here to serve them into the future.” Brickner said the Taste of Ric’s, which the store holds in summer and in winter annually, continues to be a huge success—if you consider giving away a ton of free food a success for a local grocery store. Brickner does. In addition to serving, for example, a hundreds pounds of meatballs during the Taste of Ric’s, the store supports the community by daily donating to local outreach center Lean on Me. A food drive held at Ric’s recently allowed the public share in supporting people who are struggling financially, and Brickner said volunteers who staffed the event were very grateful for every bit of food and monetary donation. The Taste of Ric’s is also a community outreach, in a way. Brickner said for both the store and the vendors who participate, it is a chance to shine and invite people to try something new. Loyal customers appreciate the events and those who have never, or not recently, visited the store will be reminded of what Ric’s has to offer. “It is really a joint venture between us and the merchants,” Brickner said. Many of the store’s vendors are Michigan companies, and the person-to-person interaction during the Taste of Ric’s allows customers to see the people who are providing their food and vendors to see who they are serving. “People don’t realize many of these are locally-owned businesses, he said. An example is Sweet Tooth, a store right in downtown Rockford which specializes in homemade caramel corn and other goodies. “They offer a really good product and market it well,” Brickner said of the Sweet Tooth owners. Others—Keebler/Kellog, Schuil Coffee, Max and Emily’s Cheesecake, Chuck and Dave’s Salsa, Pop’s […]
Ric’s Food Center Rockford store Director David Brickner can’t believe how fast two years have flown by at the store. He holds up the new Tell A Friend logo, caricature of store owner Andy Woodrick, who bought the business from his dad in 1997. It seems like yesterday Ric’s Food Center opened for business, but on Monday, February 8, the store passed its second anniversary. “It feels like two minutes, not two years,” said Store Director Dave Brickner. He didn’t want the date to pass without thanking the customers that have become regulars at the family grocery. “The people have been very supportive,” he said, noting that he is often surprised at how far shoppers come to visit. Many local residents have become regulars, but shoppers come from Belding, Ada and often beyond. “They’ll tell me they live in such and such place, but every time they come through here they have to stop in.” Brickner believes winning customers comes from many things staff at Ric’s does. “I don’t believe anything is a small thing,” he said of the company philosophy of customer service and making each shopping experience a pleasure. Periodic open houses with free product sampling are among ways the store thanks to their shoppers. Periodic super-specials, such as a meat sale held this Thursday, February 11 and running through Wednesday, February 17, are other examples. Still, it is the smallest things as well as big events that Brickner believes drive loyalty. “People can do everything right, but if they don’t mean it, you can tell,” he said of his employees’ cheery attitudes. “I hear all the time how people appreciate our staff and they want to know how we do it,” he said. “If you want a friendly staff, hire friendly people.” He used as an example Carol in deli, who was the subject of a note praising her caring attitude. Brickner also credits the store’s success with the feedback they receive and follow. “We can’t do the best job if we don’t know what people are thinking,” he said. The store’s new campaign, Tell A Friend, debuted the first of the year. A caricature of owner Andy Woodrick is the star of the program, which encourages people to share their […]
Event one of many community efforts “If you leave here hungry, that’s your fault,” said Ric’s Food Center Store Director David Brickner. Brickner is excited to offer another “Taste of Ric’s” event, free and open to the public this Thursday, December 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the store, 6767 Belding Road. Several dozen vendors will offer free samples, giveaways, and demonstrate recipes of their most delicious food items. Ric’s hosts such events periodically and the turnout and response is always enthusiastic. “We are all running around with smiles on our faces,” he said of staff who also look forward to the events. “This gives our vendors a chance to shine, and it gives us a chance to show our customers what we are capable of.” From sweet treats including ice cream, egg nog and Max and Emily cheesecakes, to Dellalo oils, dipping spices, cheeses and other Italian specialty items, Brickner said the store’s suppliers love the chance to prove how good their items are. “We barely had to whisper this to our vendors and they were right on board. They see how much excitement is generated by these events and love to be part of it.” Many suppliers deliver multiple items to the store, and many are specialty or gourmet that have a reputation for fine quality. They offer a variety of their products for tasting, and many have become household names that people look for. “We have Honey Boy Bobs, Paramount Coffee, Schuel, Carmela, Boar’s Head, Maceri and Sons, and more. Ric’s own in-store products, such as prime rib and the kielbasa created by one of the store’s butchers, Pat Ober, will also be featured. “These are internal items that we have become famous for,” Brickner noted. Other everyday names, such as Nabisco and Keebler-Kellogg will have booths. “We love to show our customers what we have to offer, not just for the holidays but for their everyday full grocery needs,” Brickner said. Customers new to the store are encouraged to make their first visit during the Taste of Ric’s. “You are not expected to spend dime one while you are here.” Brickner said people wonder how the store can afford to offer such a costly event, but he and the staff, […]