Strack: Grocery Acquisition 'Incredible Feeling'

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Jeff Strack in 2016. (photo courtesy of our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana) Jeff Strack in 2016. (photo courtesy of our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana)

More details are emerging about the successful bid for the remaining Strack & Van Til grocery stores in northwest Indiana. Indiana Grocery Group, which consists of members of the Strack and Van Til families, will not only acquire 20 stores, but also the grocery chain's Highland headquarters.

A filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois shows Indiana Grocery Group will take over operation of 17 Strack & Van Til Markets, two Town & Country Markets, the Ultra Foods store in Merrillville, the Strack & Van Til headquarters and the company's commissary located in Valparaiso.

"It's an incredible feeling," Jeff Strack, who leads the Indiana Grocery Group, told our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. "There were so many times during this process where you start to question if it's worth all the hard work. But there was the amount of emails and letters we got from employees, vendors and customers. When there was any doubt about going forward, I would look at and read those emails and letters. When they said we were the highest and best bid, it was a huge relief and it was true excitement. It was a wide range of emotions."

The publication says the only remaining stores not included in the sale are Ultra Foods locations in Highland and Kankakee, both of which remain up for auction. The Strack and Van Til families sold the stores to Illinois-based Central Grocers Inc. 20 years ago. Central Grocers recently filed for bankruptcy, which led to the sale.

The sale still requires approval from a judge. A hearing for that ruling is scheduled to take place Tuesday.

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