More than 80 years ago, Strack & Van Til started as a single grocery store in downtown Griffith, Ind. Today there are 20 stores with all but one located in northwest Indiana. As the retailer continues to expand and cater to the changing demands of its customers, it goal is to remain true to its small town Midwestern roots, said Larry Malchick, the retailer’s deli director.
“We’re trying to stay one step ahead [of our competition] while staying truly who we are,” he said.
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Tried-and-true northwest Indiana means fried foods and Strack & Van Til’s fried chicken is a local legend. On Fridays it’s a go-to spot for fried fish, which the retailer offers to prepare onsite for customers. Deli salads are also a part of the tradition with some recipes in continual use for 50 years, said Malchick.
While tradition is important, merchandiser Brenda Wright said the retailer has modernized its grab-and-go sandwich selections to include fresh-baked bread and high-quality meats. It’s also supplementing its popular fried chicken with grilled and rotisserie selections for the increasingly health conscious consumer.
Strack & Van Til is a subsidiary of Central Grocers Cooperative with headquarters in Highland, Ind.
Captions by Cora Weisenberger
Photos by Steve Greiner