The new owner, Raj Vangaveti, said he plans to be opening “any day now” as St. Paris Shoppers and Grocery. The store will include fresh produce, meats and other traditional fresh grocery items, Vangaveti said.
In addition, a familiar favorite spot, the ice cream parlor, will be open seasonally.
“I came from a small town in India,” Vangaveti said. “Growing up we did not have a grocery store for miles. Many of us did not even have cars to commute and it was extremely difficult to get everyday supplies. Sometimes I had to bike for miles to get a gallon of milk or a packet of bread.
“I have decided and have been looking for the right opportunity to join a small community and help with everyday needs,” he said. “I am incredibly happy to find the right opportunity in St. Paris. I am very eager and excited to be part of this small friendly community.”
Initially the store will provide customers with a fully featured grocery store that will include fresh food like milk, eggs, bread, coffee, hot chocolate, fresh produce, fruits, frozen food, meat, beer and wine. It will also have candy, soda pop, paper towels, bathroom tissues, diapers, pet food, automotive products, tobacco, cigarettes, lottery and other items.
“A unique, upscale, and innovative environment will be provided to the customers with a friendly atmosphere,” Vangaveti said. “Our store will differ from the traditional grocery store because of our added personal touch.
We are planning to add a gas/fueling station in near future. There will be a common sitting area where the customers can get deli meat, pizza and fried food. We will be planning to reopen the ice cream parlor in the summer.”
Vangaveti said he believes that the responsibility for customer satisfaction is not focused solely on the sale of a product, but rather is the total relationship a customer experiences when interacting with the organization. “We believe in honesty and truth in all transactions and in providing products of the highest quality and at fair prices. We should do everything possible to provide outstanding service in marketing the products we sell.”
Vangaveti said concern for people gives the store the drive to be a good corporate citizen.
“We believe we have a responsibility to be a good neighbor in maintaining our property in first-class condition and by making the appearance of our store, facilities, equipment, and grounds as attractive as possible, making them an asset to the communities that support our store.”
The campaign includes an intense training session for all employees, and a firm understanding and commitment to deliver these pledge points, he said.
Hours of operation for the store will be 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Checks and all major credit cards will be accepted. “Food stamp policy along with other policies will be in place once we open the store,” Vangaveti said.
Official voting for the Best of Champaign County will be October 1st-31st. Voters are asked to donate $1 per vote to the Chamber of Commerce, so that it can continue to carry out its mission to connect Champaign County by promoting members and inspiring collaboration by offering resources and opportunities to enhance our community. Nominations and ballots will be accepted online, by mail, email or in person at the Chamber of Commerce located at 127 W. Court St. in Urbana.
Chamber Director, Sara Neer, explains, “With so many events being cancelled and postponed this year due to Covid the Chamber and Board of Directors thought long and hard about a fundraiser that we could carry out virtually to replace our in person events that we rely on for revenue to keep the Chamber in business. The Best of Champaign County contest does a few things: promotes local businesses, educates and involves the community, and assists the Chamber in raising funds by implementing a ‘donate to vote’ feature.”
In a normal year the Chamber hosts monthly lunch & learns, business after hours networking events, first friday coffee hours, Safety Council meetings, Leadership Champaign County, along with other larger events. “We want to do all we can to continue providing valuable resources to our members and the community throughout this trying time and we hope that Champaign County will support our newest fundraiser”, says Chamber Board President, Tom Coles, “Small businesses add to the uniqueness of our county and we want to involve the community in recognizing and celebrating all that makes Champaign County a great place to live, work and play.”
But they didn't stop there. We Spend Local launched an an online store dedicated to showing your love for local. Each month they feature a "We Give Local" design dedicated to that month's podcast interview. 50% of the proceeds from the sale of those shirts will be donated back to that organization or business or a cause of their choosing. The first design was dedicated to Urbana Fire Department and Chief Ortlieb requested the donation be designated to Box 13 to ensure the funds be shared throughout Champaign County.
Tune in now to hear the newest podcast at https://www.wespendlocal.com/podcast.html featuring Jamie Houseman, President of Mercy Health Urbana Hospital and support Mercy Health's Guardian Angel Fund here: https://wespendlocal.itemorder.com/sale. This fund was developed for children who are clients of the Mercy Health Pediatrics, who have unmet needs due to lack of family finances. It especially targets “working families” and offers the services such as filling Prescription needs and over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, eyeglasses, dental emergencies and further medical evaluation by a physician or medical specialist. Funds have also been used to purchase winter coats and gloves, car seats, etc for families with need.
A canceled fair or festival does not just represent a loss for summer entertainment. It also represents lost income for charitable organizations, rental companies, food distributors, and cancelled rooms for hotels, B&Bs and Inns.
With this in mind, it is more important now than ever for the residents of Champaign County to make a conscious effort to shop and support local businesses first. Before driving out of town to go shopping or ordering an item online, ask yourself, “Is there a local merchant who sells that item?” Many times the answer is yes, and if you are not sure, the Chamber of Commerce is here to assist by referring members and local businesses.
The people of Champaign County are proud, loyal and hardworking. Living in a close-knit community has many benefits. Everyone is your neighbor here. Let's rally to support our small businesses and their employees. Let’s help our neighbors.
The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce stands ready to assist its members and the community. The Chamber office is open Monday-Friday 8 AM - 4 PM and is reachable by phone, 937-653-5764. Furthermore, a membership and community guide is available at champaignohio.com.