Julie Henderson leads great crew
By Jim Nowlan
I recently stopped by the Toulon SuperValu, one of my favorite places, to chat with Julie Henderson about managing a small-town grocery. The store is to celebrate in March the one-year anniversary of its re-opening.
Julie is the “chief cook and bottle washer” for owner Chad Patel, who bounces back and forth between his stores in Wyoming and Toulon.
A certified food manager, Julie spends most of her day in the kitchen, cutting meat, fixing luncheon specials, preparing deli items, frying chicken, whatever.
Julie moved to Toulon from Chillicothe 17 years ago and has been a part of the grocery in Toulon for 12. Everybody in Toulon knows and likes Julie.
What makes Toulon SuperValu special, The News asked Julie?
“Our store has a hometown feel,” she says, in her upbeat manner.
“We carry groceries to your car, we even deliver for some who need it,” she says, “and we honor customer requests for items quickly. We care about our customers.”
“We take a lot of customer requests that we stock certain items, and we make up chef salads and sub sandwiches and salad items for our deli.
The store is open 8 a.m. to 9p.m. (8-8 in the winter) every day.
Julie says customers start coming in at 8 to pick up freshly prepared doughnuts, and the free coffee is always on, to be enjoyed at small tables up front.
There are daily lunch specials from 11-1:30, always posted on Facebook. The day I stopped in it was maid-rites, piled high on the bun.
Fried chicken is very popular, and is prepared fresh every day but Sunday.
“Chicken is a big seller,” notes Julie. “We use Golden Plump chicken, which is specially marinated.”
Hunt Brothers’ Pizza is also a big seller.
Hunt provides the crust dough, and Julie and her team of five pile the pizzas high with fresh ingredients, then bake.
In my experience, it only takes about 10 minutes or so, from order (the phone is 286-0084—remember that) to piping hot ready. The Supreme is terrific, I can attest.
Owner Chad provides about every service I can think of—newspapers; lottery; beer, wine and liquor; deli, a wide variety of fresh produce, fresh meats, canned goods, frozen foods, whatever a small town and its residents might want.
Chad, Julie, store are good citizens
The store team—“a really good team,” boasts Julie—includes Heather Ostrowski, Kim Flowers, Jessica Galli, Lori Simpson, and Ben Steinbach, all of Toulon.
Recently, the store lost valued staff member Shelby Ann Carter, who saved her 12-day-old baby before being consumed herself in a tragic house fire in Wyoming.
Julie and Chad and their store help out the community in many ways.
As a member of the Toulon Lions, I know we use Chad’s pork chops and buns for our sandwich sales, and at good prices for us.
The store handles the milk for the local food pantry, and will often fix 20-30 sack lunches for Stark 100 athletes to take on game day.
Julie gets great satisfaction, she says, from knowing her store offers a place for her friends in the community to go get their grocery, lunch and other needs. And it’s all right here, no costly car drive to an out-of-town big box store required.
Toulon SuperValu is a fine, valuable place with good people, all with ready smiles.
Stop by soon.
Julie Henderson leads great crew