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Mainstay Missoula grocery store changes ownership

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Jan 02 2014 10:24:04 PM MST

For many Missoula residents Orange Street Food Farm is an icon, but after 27 years the old owners are ready to retire and new owners are taking over.

Now customers' main concern is whether their neighborhood store will stay the same.  

Step into Orange Street Food Farm and you can see right away it's no ordinary grocery store.

Orange Street customer Jennifer Blood tells NBC Montana that Orange Street Food Farm is one of the only grocery stores she goes to.

“I love the layout, I love the setup and I love the family vibe,” she says.  “I love the magic end cap that always has strange things.”

Blood is referring to a special section of the store that boasts unique products at low prices.

“We're not going to change that either,” says one of the new owners Craig Holtet.  “It's kind of a mystery type 'let's see what you can find in it,' so we're going to keep it there.”  

Orange Street Food Farm focuses on low prices and excellent customer services, and new owners Ron Ramsbacher and Craig Holtet tell us, that's exactly how it will stay.  

“We're not really going to make any changes,” says Holtet.  “Maybe add a couple things in the deli or maybe stay open a little longer on some things but no big changes.”   

Both Ramsbacher and Holtet grew up in Montana and graduated from University of Montana.  Holtet says he has a history with the store.

“I shopped here as a kid, my parents shopped here and, you know, I even shopped here in college and that's not going to change,” says Holtet.    

Holtet says all employees will be keeping their jobs.  We talked to one cashier who says she's excited that the store will stay local.

“We're excited to have some fresh ideas,” says cashier Patty Gosselin.  “They seem like really great guys so I think we’re going to keep the Orange Street Food Farm family, like a family.”  

“I'm really glad they're going to keep it the same,” says Blood.  “In fact the idea of it changing kind of stresses me out, like when you told me there was someone new I had this moment of 'ah, they're going to ruin my store!'”

Besides possibly adding some new products, customers will notice few changes with the new ownership.

Holtet tells us grocery prices will not go up; he adds that they will actually look at ways to lower prices.