Nemenz Hubbard store to open at Patton site

A floral department and hot-food section are being added.
HUBBARD -- Longtime area grocer Henry Nemenz is upgrading a store in Hubbard in hopes of making it profitable.
Nemenz is opening an IGA store April 29 on West Liberty Street where Patton's IGA Super Center used to be.
Rob Patton closed his store recently because it wasn't making money, Nemenz said. The store was founded by Patton's father, Wilson, who is deceased.
With the right offerings, the store should succeed because that part of Hubbard needs a grocery store, Nemenz said.
The bakery in the store is being renovated and improved, and a floral department and hot-food section are being added.
"We're trying to make it a one-stop shop," Nemenz said. "We're trying to make the perimeter of the store very much upscale."
He said he's focusing on the edges of the store because the groceries -- which are found in the middle of the store -- are being sold in many places, such as discount stores.
The owners of Bobby's Floral & amp; Balloons, 538 W. Liberty St., will run the floral department.
The floral department will be a good tie-in to the bakery, Nemenz said. Brides ordering wedding cakes can stop at the floral department for flowers, he said.
Other improvements
Patton had leased out the bakery, but Nemenz said he will use store employees to bake cakes from scratch. The bakery is being remodeled so customers can watch cakes being made.
He said the produce section is being upgraded with sprinklers and a bulk produce area where fresh, unpackaged vegetables can be bought.
The store manager is Gary Marple, who has worked for Valu King, Giant Eagle and Phar-Mor. Nemenz said he also has hired a few people who had worked at Tops stores that closed recently. He wasn't able to provide the number of people who will be working at the store.
Nemenz operates other IGA stores in Youngstown, Canfield, Boardman and Struthers. He also owns nine Sav-A-Lot stores, and his son runs seven.
They are opening Sav-A-Lot stores in Niles and Sharon in June.
"We're trying to stay ahead of the big conglomerates that are trying to eat up the little guys," Nemenz said.