Toulon SuperValu holds grand opening

“My heart is in Stark County”—Chad Patel

Toulon Super Valu proprietor, Chad Patel, 3rd from right, stands with store employees behind the ribbon held by investors Jack Riley (left) and Dave Wilson (right).  Building project leader, John Leezer is at far right and U.S. Rep. Darren LaHood and his son are standing on the left.
Toulon Super Valu proprietor, Chad Patel, 3rd from right, stands with store employees behind the ribbon held by investors Jack Riley (left) and Dave Wilson (right). Building project leader, John Leezer is at far right and U.S. Rep. Darren LaHood and his son are standing on the left.

By Jim Nowlan
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Stark County Ventures, LLC was conceived 10 years ago to provide financing to support a grocery store in Toulon, which at the time had been without one for nine months.

This past Saturday, lead investors in the LLC were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the brand-spanking new grocery, which has risen like a Phoenix over the past year from the ashes of the store that burned to the ground in June 2014.

“It was a godsend that we found Chad Patel to operate the store several years ago,” declared LLC sparkplug and grocery project leader John Leezer at the ceremony.

Patel had operated both the Wyoming SuperValu and, until the fire, the store in Toulon.

“I have had several offers to operate stores elsewhere,” said Chad, “but my heart is in Stark County.”

Leezer also gave credit to the City of Toulon and the State Bank of Toulon for their strong support of the rebuilding effort.

“Our investor group is unique, based on chatting with people in other towns,” added LLC leader Bob Mueller. “Our investors (the LLC is technically a for-profit entity) are not expecting any return, but simply to support the community.”

Fifty-six Toulon area, as well as several former residents, have invested more than $100,000 in the LLC (at $500 per share).

Leezer said the LLC hopes to sell additional shares in the LLC in order to wrap up final expenses for the rebuilt store and to build a nest-egg for additional community ventures. Persons interested in investing may contact John at Leezer Insurance and Real Estate at 286-2221.

U.S. Representative Darin LaHood, of Dunlap, came up for the ribbon-cutting, which was also attended by scores of well-wishers.

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