It's been seven years since the town of Florence has had a grocery store, but on Thursday, things changed.
Fresh meats, fruits and vegetables are now at the finger tips for Florence County residents after the grand opening of Pat's Foods.
??It??s really great because we haven't had a store in a really long time and I just moved here and don't drive, so it's going to be nice to have a store back,?? said resident, Karen Bianchetti. ??The prices are compatible to Iron Mountain, so that makes it great.??
Iron Mountain or Crystal Falls is where Florence residents would normally have to drive prior to Thursday. Pat??s Foods is a fourth-generation grocery chain with locations in the Upper Midwest of the U.P. In addition to the grocery store, they have also have an ACE hardware section.
??The hours we have for the hardware being open seven days a week until 9:00 p.m. has been great, too, being able to get that last minute thing you need fixed in our house,?? said co-owner, Joe Campioni. ??We??re really happy we put the hardware in.??
Brothers Joe and Ben Campioni received a $20,000 grant in May from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the site, formerly Haberkorns, is located in the county's tax incremental financing district, making it an appealing location for a business. The brothers are also grateful the start date was at the beginning of the summer season.
??This was the perfect time to open right before the Fourth of July coming and to the busiest time of year,?? Campioni said.
It??s been a long time coming, and the brothers say, so far, Florence has been a great community to work in.
??The town of Florence is a great town; they've been very helpful,?? Campioni said. ??The town is probably one of the best projects we've ever done.??