By Carol McIntire
CARROLLTON – The sale of the former Thorne’s Neighborhood Market in Carrollton is awaiting a judge’s signature in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
On Dec. 1, Briar Hill Foods LLC (the owners of the Thorne Marketplace) filed an order with the United States Bankruptcy Court Northern District of Ohio approving the sale to Sander Brothers Inc. following a sale conducted by the court Nov. 30.
Judge Russ Kendig did not sign the order and noted in a judgment entry a memorandum of opinion will follow at a later date.
Sander Brothers, owner of Sander’s Market, placed a bid of $3.25 million for all four of the Thorne’s grocery stores, located in Carrollton, Alliance, Cadiz and Jefferson. The Sander brothers, Jake and Mark, own three stores; one in North East, PA, one in Corry, PA, and one in Salamanca, NY.
No one else submitted a bid for all four stores. The bidding procedures established by the bankruptcy court state the closing of the sale will occur no later than Dec. 15.
The Free Press caught up with Jake Sander Tuesday (Dec. 5) as he was working in the Carrollton store.
“We are waiting on the judge’s signature,” he said. “Once we get that, we will begin opening stores.”
He said plans are to open the Jefferson store first, Carrollton store second and the Cadiz store third.
“The reason for that is in those three communities the store is the only full-service market in the town. In Alliance, there are other stores where people can shop,” he said.
If the order is signed soon, Sander said the goal is to open the Carrollton store mid-January.
“We know the store needs a lot of upgrades,” he said. “They will come over time. The goal is get the store up and running for the community and to provide cash for the company. As the community supports the store and we will put the money back into the store in the form of upgrades.”
He said two pressing needs are the parking lot and roof. “The roof will take precedence over the parking lot,” he noted.
Sander’s Markets are full-service grocery stores that offer a deli, bakery and meat department along with groceries and produce.
“Our other stores are very similar in size and type as these stores,” said Sander, who has over 17 years of experience as a store owner and additional experience as a store manager. “We are a small, family company and are very community minded. We look forward to coming to Carrollton.”
Company employees have spent the last month in the Carrollton store cleaning, repairing and preparing for the sale.