Keller carves choice post in meaty roleWritten by Julie Restivo | | email@example.com
Mark Keller spent most of his career working for Food Town, and has parleyed that experience into a full-time opportunity at the Erie Street Market.
At age 16, Keller began working at Food Town as a bagger. He is originally from Toledo, but 30 years in the Food Town business sent him to many Midwest locations. He said the “ongoing training” he spent cutting, packaging and selling meat at Food Town did not go to waste.
On June 2, he debuted Market Meats and Seafood. According to Keller, the opening went well.
Pat Nowak, executive director of the Erie Street Market, said after the Rohr fish stand announced its closing in the spring, she knew who to turn to for a new meat seller.
In Nowak’s previous public relations position for Food Town she met and became impressed by Keller’s work.
Nowak said Keller was always in the handful of Food Town managers who stood out. She asked him almost immediately if he was interested in opening his own meat market at her location.
“When Pat Nowak approached me with this idea, I saw it as a great opportunity and I grabbed it,” Keller said.
Keller and Nowak are optimistic about the market’s business. One reason they believe it will remain marketable is the new area residences being built in the Downtown area.
“These new residences are all either under construction or are already sold,” Nowak said.
Marcia Amstutz, owner of Tanks Meat Inc., used to owned a market at the Erie Street location for nearly 20 years. Amstutz said they decided to close in 2003.
“There was not enough business,” Amstutz said. “There is nothing to bring repeat business back.”
Amstutz said the new residences Downtown “will help.”
Nowak said the market is the perfect place for people just getting off work Downtown to buy meat.
The hours are consistent with the Erie Street Market’s hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“Summertime is a lot slower, but we are looking at the entire market to stay open later,” Nowak said. She said she realized that 6 p.m. is early for customers who stop by the market on their way home from work and that she is considering extending hours.