by BETH ALTENA The holidays never tasted so good, with music, sleigh rides and Santa, too, during the holiday Taste of Ric’s held Saturday, Dec. 4 at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road in Rockford. Store director Dave Brickner said the turnout was fantastic with an estimated 4,000 people showing up to sample hot kielbasa and meatballs, fresh produce, tasty deli sandwiches and wraps, and much more. A visit with Santa and plenty of holiday music and activities for children made the day seem like a party. “I don’t know how it just keeps getting bigger and better, but it does,” said Brickner. Andy Woodrick, owner of the store, took in the sights and sounds and the busy activity of the day. The store hosts seasonal “Taste” events, but the Christmas theme of the December one found visitors in happy moods. “This holiday one really seems to have taken off,” Woodrick stated. “It’s nice to see our neighbors.” Ric’s Food Center is a Michigan family business, offering traditional full-service neighborhood grocery stores. Ric’s has been operating since 1977, when founder Richard Woodrick opened the first store in Mt. Pleasant. Today, under the direction of Richard’s son Andy Woodrick and his wife Monica Reynolds, Ric’s proudly serves the communities of Interlochen, Ithaca, Hemlock, Mount Pleasant and Rockford.
Taste of Ric’s
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 […]