October of 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Jubilee Foods, a pillar in the Mound community. Six current employees have been with the store since day one and recall fun and challenges along the way.
“It was a tough go-around, that’s for sure,” longtime employee James Tobeck said.
Originally known as Westonka Foods when it opened in 1985, the grocery store was competing with two other stores within about a three-mile area. In 1987, the name changed to Jubilee Foods.
Along for the ride have been Scott Logelin, partner; Dave Nelson, store manager; James Tobeck, frozen dairy manager; Norita Ward, pricing coordinator; Jill Carlin, bookkeeper and Scott Marrs, meat cutter.
Logelin, currently a partner along with Bob Boese, calculated that each of the 30-year employees had worked 62,400 hours for the company.
“That’s a lot,” Tobeck reflected.
“A lot of experience,” chimed in Logelin.
According to the group, the last 30 years have included practical jokes and a lot of camaraderie. The employees also say they enjoy dressing up for Halloween and an annual employee trip to Canterbury Downs.
Logelin, Nelson and Tobeck all started as stockers and carry-out help and over the past 30 years have risen to partner, store manager and frozen dairy
“We basically all started out at the bottom of the pole and worked our way up,” Logelin said.
The longtime employees discussed the changes in the grocery business over the years.
Before the advent of computers, the cashiers had a lot to memorize.
“We used to have to know all the prices in the store,” Carlin said. “We used to key them all in.”
“We used to cut the chickens into pieces,” commented Nelson. “You would buy a bunch of whole chickens and cut them into pieces.”
Constant in the store’s history is community involvement.
“Over the 30 years we’ve sponsored just about every event in town,” Logelin said.
He estimated that the store has easily donated over $1 million to the community in the past 30 years.
“The donations have been huge, to everything,” noted Carlin.
“We’ve always been a community-based business,” Logelin said.
Various Westonka School athletic teams and the Westonka Food Shelf have receiving significant support from Jubilee Foods.
Jubilee organizes food drives for the food shelf and donates baskets of food for distribution at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
“That’s basically a ‘thank you’ to the community for supporting us — we support their needs,” Logelin said.
There have been challenges over the years, such as when the store’s supplier declared bankruptcy shortly after Jubilee moved to its current location. Formerly located off Shoreline Drive, Jubilee Foods moved to its current location in the Mound Marketplace in 2003.
The realignment of County Road 15 in 2003 was also difficult for the store due to the construction disruption.
For the 30th anniversary, Jubilee Foods is hosting a sale starting Oct. 18 as well as door prizes giveaways. The grand prize is a two-minute shopping spree.
Shortly after the celebrations they will be re-carpeting the store, starting Nov. 2.
But, they won’t be closing during that time.
“We never close,” Carlin said. “Whatever the weather, whatever the situation.”
“Power goes out, we work with flashlights,” Carlin added.
Even when the store moved into the current location it was only closed for two and a half days.
At this 30-year anniversary, store management expressed thanks for community support.
“It has been a pleasure serving the Westonka community all these years and we invite you to come in to see what we have in store,” Logelin said.