Stop the Sale of Strack & Van Til to Jewel

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I have been on or consulted with many local non-profit boards about Northwest Indiana during my time here in Northwest Indiana. Besides the hard-working employees and volunteers there is always a consistent group of donors you end up seeing helping support these causes. One of those is always Strack and Van Til!

When the announcement of the bankruptcy hit the press, I felt like our area was losing something close to us. I remember going to the store on 169th in Hammond as a kid almost weekly. I would always get some of the money we received from exchanging the Pepsi bottles to buy a couple of packs of baseball cards. Now with summer approaching I know most of the backyard BBQ’s my family will attend will have a buffet of Strack’s food being served. With all those fond memories, none of them matter as much as what they have done for our community.

What they have done is literally provide millions of dollars back to our community through their generosity and help every year. Not only are they one of the backbones of organizations like the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, but a simple google search with result in thousands of news articles about their generosity towards our area. You see them on the boards, you see them volunteering, and you see them asking to help support one of the many causes at the cash register when you are checking out.

Not only do they help give back but their impact on local businesses will be heavily felt. A simple shopping experience in the store you will find local goods and merchandise located throughout. Do you think you are going to find any of the local produce, chorizo, microbrews, or even tortilla’s made here in Northwest Indiana at these cookie cutter big boxes?  I can promise you most of, many of those items will be gone from the shelves as well as the factory worker that helped produce some of those items.  

So much of the local experience and giving back is lost on a lot of the corporate world today. Jewel has been in our community since I was a kid also and cannot tell you one person I know that has sat on any non-profits boards. I have gone through the store and couldn’t tell you if I was there, Wal-Mart, Meijer, or any of the other big boxes pushing the same product striving for cheapness and pushing all the profits and higher paying executive jobs out of the area.

There is one last shot at saving a little piece of Northwest Indiana. The bankruptcy court and the FTC will decide the owner of Strack’s at the end of the month. Maybe this is a long shot but it is a shot worth taking. We as board members of the non-profits, as employees, as vendors, and as residents of Northwest Indiana need to tell the court that we want to keep a part of us local here.

The community objects to the sale of Strack & Van Til to its competitor, Jewel.  Jewel has been in our community for years and has done little to nothing to support or be a part of it. Meanwhile, Strack & Van Til has been a great community partner on many levels.  Strack & Van Til maintains a high quality image while providing products at fair and reasonable prices.  Losing Strack & Van Til will create unfair business practices and pricing fixing in our area. We want the bankruptcy court and the Federal Trade Commission to deny the sale of Strack & Van Til to Jewel as this will create a monopoly in our area. If the sale is to go through, we can expect increases in costs, lower quality merchandise, and the loss of local representation of products from the store.