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.
Spring Taste of Ric’s
Baseball-themed day of free samples draws crowds by BETH ALTENA Rockford Ric’s Food Center is a busy place these days four years into their location at 6969 Belding Road. The store was especially busy Saturday, May 5 with the Spring Taste of Ric’s, where vendors and store staff offer free samples of many food products. There were about 40 stations offering samples from wraps and sandwiches from the Ric’s deli to rootbeer floats in dairy. The meat and seafood department were especially busy as people lined up for samples of the store’s signature kielbasa and tasty crab cakes, sale priced at just a dollar each for the day. According to Store Director Dave Brickner, the events are greatly anticipated by both customers and staff, and this year’s included a drawing for a free grill valued at about $700. Brickner said the store is a busy one for the chain, and beer- and wine-tastings on Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m. have been very popular. The store has been holding the tastings for the last seven months, and the selection of wine and beer is the best in West Michigan, Brickner believes. “Michigan has so many good breweries we have been able to focus on Michigan-made beers,” he stated. Michigan also has a great selection of locally made wine, but the store also features wines made worldwide. “We are so event-oriented,” Brickner said of his Ric’s. April was Michigan Wine Month, May includes the Taste of Ric’s and Mother’s Day, and the new one-day sales have been big successes. Brickner also expressed enthusiasm regarding the proposed development for the property surrounding the store, which was a Planned Unit Development for residential homes, townhouses and other businesses along the Belding Road frontage. The development went to the bank after sales failed to take place and the economy spiraled down, but now one of the town homes built on the site has sold—a happy sign of better times to come.
‘We almost have too many vendors who want to be involved’ by BETH ALTENA Expect over 50 vendors offering free delicious samples this Saturday at the Spring Taste of Ric’s at Ric’s Food Center, 6969 Belding Road from noon to 4 p.m. One lucky visitor will receive dozens of delightful samples of deli, meat, grocery and more—a Treger Grill, valued at over $700, will be given away during a free drawing, which will take place after the end of the Spring Taste of Ric’s event. “We almost have too many vendors who want to be involved in this,” said Dave Brickner, store manager. Brickner said he looks forward to each of the store’s departments to line up four or five vendors to offer free samples, but more like seven or eight manage to get an invite. This enthusiasm is wonderful for shoppers who turn out for the twice-a-year Taste of Ric’s, but become a little problematic logistically. “It’s probably hardest in the meat department where they have such a narrow corridor to set up in,” explained Brickner. Brickner said the event compliments the anniversary of the store opening four years ago, but is a customer appreciation day as well as a chance to show people how much the store has to offer. “We are so grateful and happy for the support the community has shown us,” Brickner said. “Our customer base is growing all the time. We couldn’t be happier. We had such high hopes when we opened four years ago and then the economy took a dive. It’s probably in part a matter of time, people have learned that we aren’t ordinary. Our customer base is growing every year, but also further out as word gets out we are a pretty special store.” Brickner said it is the special events his staff plans for—one day weekly specials, the taste events, holidays such as the upcoming Mother’s Day—that add to the store’s appeal. “Mother’s Day is a really big holiday here,” he noted. “The special dinners people prepare and have a big family gathering, for us it is almost as big as Easter.” Weekly wine and beer-tastings are another example. Each Saturday (with the exception of May 5 because of the Taste of Ric’s) from […]
Store Director David Brickner said he doesn’t mind the case of nerves he gets before a tasting event at Ric’s Food Center. “You can really sense the energy and how excited everyone is,” he said of the events the store at 6767 Belding Road hosts several times a year. “Each one has only been bigger and better than the one before,” he stated. The spring Taste of Ric’s is Saturday, May 1 from noon to 4 p.m. The last Taste of Ric’s was in December, 2009 in the middle of a Michigan snow and ice storm. Hundreds still turned out for the free taste samples and other in-store events of the day. Brickner said his department managers and dozens of vendors offer their free samples and recipe advice, and that interacting with so many people is a treat and a pleasure. “They see the value in it, too. This is a way they can showcase their product to hundreds and hundreds of people in one day,” Brickner pointed out. Brickner said his store, like the other Ric’s Food Centers, look for local suppliers where possible. These types of providers—often smaller businesses—have a strong passion for their product. Brickner used the example of Janie’s Cookie Company, which is located in Grand Rapids and is a small business success story. Ric’s corporate, Brickner said, believes strongly in the value of building relationships—with their vendors, their customers, and their communities. “I feel really fortunate to be part of a company that believes in that, because I believe in that, too,” Brickner said. He said the employees at the store look forward to special events as much as the customers do, and their enthusiasm contributes to the success of the day. “All I had to do was drop the word and vendors started signing up for this,” Brickner stated. “Customers love to see us do something so fun. We know by their response that they love it.” Brickner credits his staff with much of the success in events such as these and in the store itself. This is another philosophy that comes from corporate but goes right down to every individual involved in the company. “I’m a person who gets very animated about things,” he said. “Everyone around gets […]