Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 14, 2005

Pete's Grocery gets makeover

By Lynda Jensen

A snappy new checkered floor and three new coolers are just some of the changes taking place at Pete’s Grocery – with more to come, if the Support Waverly organization can locate more investors.

Members of the non-profit group have been busy remodeling Pete’s with a combination of elbow grease and fund raising – with the intent of making sure that Pete’s stays open.

Investors first banded together last year to save the grocery, upon hearing the news that owner Pete Chmielewski planned to close up shop.

The group successfully gathered more than $20,000 at that time.

The funds are being used for a low-interest loan to Pete’s Grocery.

Most of this money has been used to replace the floor and coolers in the past several weeks. Painting is scheduled to be done, with a cleaning date set for after the work is finished.

Now, the group is looking at replacing compressors, Doering said, but this is turning out to be more costly than originally thought. Therefore, the group is looking for more investors, Doering said.

Chmielewski appreciates the change, he said, noting that the checker-style floor reminds him of his father’s store, 40 years ago.

All involved are hoping the fresh look will draw more patrons to the store.

“It doesn’t take much to keep a small business going,” Doering noted.

In fact, if residents made one trip per month to a small business such as Pete’s, this would keep the business afloat, Doering said.

He has been operating in Waverly for 25 years.

To lend a hand

For those who are interested in becoming an investor for Support Waverly, there is plenty of work left to be funded, said organizer Al Doering.

The group is looking for an additional $12,000 to $15,000 in funds. This is generally raised in increments of $500 for each investor.

Smaller amounts are available, Doering added.

Those interested may call Chris Kittock at (763) 658-4228.

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