New neighborhood market

Safeway is stocking shelves in preparation to soon open Beech Grove grocery

*Photo by Brian Ruckle: Safeway – coming soon to the location of the former Beech Grove Marsh grocery store.

What will the former Beech Grove Marsh look like after Safeway has taken ownership of the 1815 Albany St. building? Similar, actually – with additional variety.

Safeway owners Brad Cross and Scott Weaver, alongside Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, announced on July 17 that Safeway would purchase the 34,000 square-foot, vacant retail location. Cross and Weaver intend to reopen the store as soon as possible.

“We’re in the process of getting the store filled up and ready to open,” Cross said. “A lot of the employees are back. The ones who held up until closing, 98 percent of them are back to work. We hired the same store manager. We have the same department managers, deli, front office, and most of the employees. The (Beech Grove) mayor was nice enough and sponsored a job fair. We used the court house and hired at least 20 from that, so we’re pretty well staffed.”

Cross said he and the company are excited about the opportunity to serve Beech Grove and see growth in the Safeway company.

“We are going to be a neighborhood store,” he said. “It’s a pleasant atmosphere. It’s a small town in a big town. Residents walk to the store. We’ll do the job and see where it takes us.”

Safeway has encountered some delays in getting the computer system running, and Cross said they will open sometime in August, as soon as they can. No date is currently set.

“Everything else is pretty much ready,” he said. “It can come together real quick.”

This new store will make the sixth location of Cross and Weaver’s Safeway company. Cross said they run their grocery stores like the independently-owned, small business that they are. What may be good for one store may not be good for another, so the management at each location has a lot of control over which items are stocked, what’s on the displays and even pricing.

“We depend on our management and our department managers to manage their own store,” Cross said. “This store will be different from our other stores. We’ll bring our folks over there to see what they’re doing. Some of their employees have worked in our store to see what we do. Then we’ll try to make the best of both worlds. They’ll have a lot of freedom. At the end of the day, we have to pay the light bill, the payroll, the taxes and bring some money to the bank. The manager is excited about that (freedom).”

Cross said the store will have everything for former Marsh did, only more. Safeway prides itself on its quality meat program, so there will be changes made to the meat department.

“It’s going to be a win-win,” he said. “Some things work out for the best. This is working out and it’s exciting.”