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New owner take over at Red Apple Marketplace


Janice Peters stepped into the ownership position at the popular local grocery store about three weeks ago. Peters said no major changes are set yet but she wants to keep the focus on customer and employee satisfaction.

Janice Peters, new owner of the Red Apple Marketplace in Ontario, wants to keep the focus on her customers and employees. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

ONTARIO – Janice Peters, the new owner of Red Apple Marketplace in Ontario, wants her message to customers to be clear.

“Our customers will be able to count on the same great customer service and family feel they have been used to at the Red Apple,” said Peters.

Peters closed on the purchase of the store for an undisclosed sum two weeks ago. She said her most important short-term goal is that the store’s employees “are feeling comfortable with the transition.”

“They are at the head of every decision we make. Their input has been invaluable and I feel incredibly blessed to have them as part of the team,” said Peters.

Peters said she decided last fall to move ahead to buy the grocery store.

“My husband and I spent a lot of time over that nine months nonchalantly talking to employees and customers just to see what they liked about shopping at Red Apple Marketplace,” said Peters.

Peters said one key theme that emerged from those talks was a deep love for the store in the community.

“We felt it was a great opportunity,” said Peters.

Another element in the decision, said Peters, was the fact she is good friends with the former owners of the store – Kimmie Serrano and Larry Robb.

“Kimmie Sorrano and I went to college together, so when they decided to sell, they reached out to us to see if purchasing the store was something we would consider,” said Peters.

The move to buy the store wasn’t a snap decision, said Peters.

“Acquiring a store is a big undertaking with a lot of moving parts,” said Peters.

Peters said she wants to keep plans to expand the store “fluid” for now.

“The employees, and those closest to me who are consulting in this process, are all working hard to see where we can make an impact for our customers. I can say, without a doubt, that I will be looking to feature additional local products, being that we are a locally-owned store,” said Peters.

Red Apple Marketplace employs 73 people, said Peters.

Peters isn’t new to the grocery industry.

“I’ve been around the grocery store business for 22-plus years but I’ve never owned a store outright. I have a team of very talented members and my husband has been in the industry for 35-plus years,” said Peters.

Peters said Robb and Serrano have also been a big help with her transition.

“It has been a blast collaborating with everyone. The Red Apple is in very capable hands and we are very excited to move forward,” said Peters.

Peters said Red Apple Marketplace is a unique feature for the Ontario community.

“For example, we have an amazing meat department, a scratch bakery, a great selection of foods that cater to our local demographic as well as home delivery for our elderly customers,” said Peters.

Peters said another positive attribute to Red Apple Marketplace is it is not affiliated with major grocery chains.

“Instead we have the freedom to be open minded and look for opportunities to expand and serve our customers while keeping the personality of the store intact,” said Peters.

Red Apple Marketplace, at 555 S.W. Fourth Ave. is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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