By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
Salem IGA will be celebrating 35 years in business in a big way for its customers from Sunday, April 3 to Saturday, April 9.
The family-owned business at 158 E. Main Street in Salem will have some interesting sales throughout the week, culminating with giveaways and drawings at noon on Saturday, reports owner Kevin Fluharty.
They will be marking down some of their most popular items to reflect their 35 years in business with 35 cents tagged into the sale cost. For example: Milk will be $2.35 a gallon; a 10-pound bag of potatoes will be $2.35; a 12-pack of Coke will be priced at $2.35; a 10-pound package of chicken leg quarters will be marked at $4.35; a four-pound bag of IGA sugar will be $1.35; a 24-pack of IGA bottled water will be $2.35 and a box of IGA mac and cheese will be 35 cents!
“We’re having this huge sale to thank our loyal customers,” stated Kevin Fluharty. “We wanted to include items for this sale that people use everyday.”
And he grinned…”The 35 cents mark will remind people it’s our anniversary.”
Kevin Fluharty said he’s excited about their Saturday, April 9th noon drawings, too, and hopes everyone comes out to try to win something.
“Our vendors are providing the drawing gifts – free pizzas, T-shirts, coolers and many more fun items,” he said. “And we’re still gathering more stuff.”
Kevin is one of two of the family members who represent the second generation in the business. He works along with his sister Karla Collins to operate the grocery store. Their mother, Carole Fluharty, works with them today as well. Their father and founder of Salem IGA, Henry Fluharty, passed away in 2014.
Kevin said his father started the business after working for more than 20 years with the Kroger Company in various locations. (Salem IGA had originally been located on Main Street in the old A & P store. Then in 1987, the present facility was built.) After Kevin graduated from high school in 1980 and then when his dad opened the store in 1981, Kevin did not hesitate to be a full part of it.
“When Dad asked me to come aboard, I said ‘sure’. And I’ve been here ever since,” he said. “Salem was home to all of us…both parents are from here as well.”
Sister Karla Collins echoes her brother’s sentiments: “We were all here together. We started at the same time.”
She said it’s been a wonderful life in their family business.
“We live in a small town,” Karla said. “We’ve watched multiple generations grow up and shop here. They’ve all become family to us.”
Kevin agrees with his sister that it’s their customers – the people -who matter the most.
“I’ve grown up seeing third and fourth generations of families shopping here,” he said. “Now I’m seeing them here shopping with their kids.”
In addition to celebrating their 35 years in business, the family is celebrating Kevin’s son Jordan joining the family business this year after just graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in business.
Jordan said he’s thrilled to be a part of the family operation as the only third generation member and a keeper of their tradition, especially during this special time.
“It’s great!” he exclaimed. “I grew up around the business. It’s great to carry on the business my grandparents started. It’s been part of my life since I was a kid. I’ve always enjoyed it, especially the people that you grew up with and knowing in town… since it’s a small town.”
The grocery store – the only one in Salem – has been providing western Harrison and Doddridge counties with meats, produce, groceries and quality service to generations of locals throughout its existence.
Jordan Fluharty hopes the community comes out to the store during their celebration to receive the thanks the family wants to give them.
“It’s going to be a great thing – 35 years in business,” he stated. “My dad has put a great sale together for our anniversary.”
Kevin stated he and his family are thrilled with their milestone but are also excited about what is to come.
“We like to remember the past but look forward to the future as well,” he concluded.