GENOA – Genoa again will have a grocery store after Piggly Wiggly finalized a deal to open in the old Browns’ County Market on Pearson Drive and bring about 70 jobs to the community.
Gary Suokko, chief operating officer of Piggly Wiggly Midwest, said store staff would be a mixture of former Brown’s employees and new employees.
Outgoing Mayor Todd Walker said residents have experienced an inconvenient 6 months since Browns’ and Genoa Produce Carniceria closed in early November last year, leaving the city with no local grocery store.
“I think many of the residents realized once Browns’ closed how much they missed it,” Walker said. “People have their favorite places to shop and I certainly understand that, but I hope our residents give the new store an opportunity to earn their business.”
The Piggly Wiggly, targeted to open May 22, will feature more products and easier access, Genoa City Administrator Joe Misurelli said.
There will be no pharmacy in the store as there was in Browns’, but there will be more space for grocery products, Misurelli said. Suokko said the store would feature produce, deli, meat, seafood, dairy, bakery and liquor departments. It also will carry imported food including an expanded line of Hispanic foods.
Access to the store will be improved as shoppers can now enter directly off Route 23 and exit southbound from the parking lot onto Route 23 with the recent installation of right-in, right-out access, Misurelli said.
Piggly Wiggly will not receive any of the sales tax breaks Browns’ County Market benefited from in its first three years in Genoa. Misurelli said because there was no need to construct a building, tax incentives were not necessary.
Dan Brown, owner of Browns’ County Market, could not be reached for comment. Sycamore city officials and chamber of commerce officials were unsure last week of the status and future of the Browns’ County Market location in Sycamore.