Each month the Arrowhead Park Association features one of its members. This month, learn more about Churchill’s Market, an associate member located in Briarfield and a helpful resource during this COVID-19 lockdown.
Walt Churchill’s History
Jim and Joe Churchill started the first Churchill’s Market on Central Avenue in 1917 to help their customers find all their grocery needs at a single location. Walt Churchill Senior bought the company from his father in 1937 and helped the stores flourish. His son, Walt Jr., wanted to continue his father’s legacy, so he purchased the Briarfield location in 2005 and repurchased the Perrysburg location in 2009, branding both as the Walt Churchill’s Markets that you see today.
Independent Grocer Advantages
The business is known for its customer service, locally-sourced products, and delicious selection. The store goes to great lengths to source foods from local producers and farmers whenever possible. “Everything you need is here,” shared manager Greg Daniels.
The extensive made-from-scratch deli, fresh baked goods, raw meats and seafood, and diverse beer and wine selection make it an excellent place for a quick pickup on your way home from Arrowhead Park. Slow-cured meats and fish are all done in the Perrysburg store, including a wide variety of sausages, jerky, beef sticks, and slowly aged cuts of select meats.
The Market includes many prepared foods, including a beautiful deli. Churchill’s in-store kitchen makes over 90% of deli items on site. Those looking for a ready dinner to pickup can choose the popular “Meal Deal” of a whole rotisserie chicken and two sides. The selection includes many fresh-cut fruits, a salad bar, pre-made salads, and sandwiches as well.
Adpating to Change
With the current COVID-19 crisis, Churchill’s has seen an uptick in all areas as people are cooking at home more often. Mr. Daniels said that the surprising item they keep running out of is baking yeast! Staying at home during the lockdown must allow people to get in touch with their inner baker. Mr. Daniels said that many customers stop by each day and pick up food for the next day, or something to grill that evening.
To deal with the crisis, Walt Churchill’s Market has added curbside pickup options and has hired additional staff. People place their orders online or can even call and order items to pick up the following day. The company hopes to roll out other options in the coming weeks.
Mr. Daniels expressed great appreciation for his staff and customers. The energetic crew is working hard and doing whatever they can to make the customer experience a positive one. Walt Churchill’s shoppers have been practicing social distancing, and a high percentage of them are wearing masks. Their website even provides a chart to show the times that are most and least busy.
Top Independent Grocer
Each year Progressive Grocer honors some of the top independent grocers in the industry with its Outstanding Independent awards. Churchill’s Market was one of 21 grocers chosen in 2019 and shared what makes their businesses uniquely equipped to succeed in today’s fast-changing environment.
“Walt Churchill’s Market (WCM), with two locations near Toledo, Ohio, is focused on two major themes: What’s for Dinner and Better Because. The two philosophies work in tandem to create a shopping experience for customers that meets their needs so they can feed their families.”
Keep up the great work, Churchill’s team!