By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
Anderson’s Food Town turned 40 this month and to celebrate we dug through the archives and found the picture from 1977 in the Ely Times.
The store was purchased from Ross Prince on February 27th, 1977 by Lee and Lloyd Anderson.
Lloyd retired in 1993 and his wife retired in 2000 from the business. This left the business to Lee and his wife Leanna Anderson.
Lee takes pride in precisely cutting the meats he sells in his grocery store. Anderson’s store and bakery offer a smaller alternative to the bigger grocery chains. It’s an approach that has earned a reliable return customer base. One of his specialty services brings in hunters to help turn their prized animals into different delicious cuts. “I’m very particular about that kind of stuff,” Anderson said. “If someone asks me for something, I’ll drop what I’m doing immediately and cut. “I have a lot of people that come in that like special cuts of meat and I do it specifically how they want it.”
Lee claims his wife LeAnna is the big boss at the store. The two met in kindergarten and they’ve been together ever since. They run the store as a team, with Lee handling the day-to-day operations, while LeAnna takes care of the bookkeeping while also running the couple’s other business, the Western Store right around the corner on 11th Street East.
They have enjoyed watching the young people they trained in their store grow up. They believe the old school work ethic they instilled in their young employees eventually helped them grown into responsible members of the community.
The most important aspect to the business according to the two owners is the customer service. “How many of the big stores do you go into and have to wait around for a while for someone to ask to help you,” LeAnna said. “We are very people oriented, and we hold our employees accountable for their service. ”
While many of the items they sell can be found in larger stores, the helpful and inviting atmosphere has brought customers back to Anderson’s for over three and a half decades. If for some reason the store doesn’t have a particular item, Anderson said he can special order it and have it in a week or less.
“If you treat people fair and be good to them all the time, they are going to become loyal to you,” Lee said.
Lee said it’s business as usual for him to work 11 hour shift, seven days a week. “ I always thought that if you owned your own business, it would be a lot easier. You think that as an owner you can come and go quite a bit”, Lee said.
“When I got the business, I realized it wasn’t that easy”. It has served as a lesson about owning a business, is that he is never really off.
So to celebrate Anderson’s Food Town’s 40th anniversary they are holding a special. On Wednesday, February 22nd, thru Friday, February 24th and on Monday, February 27th, they will be holding a noon lunch special, where you can put the amount you want to pay for the daily lunch special in a sealed jar that will go to the school district at the end of each day. And, if you spend fifty dollars or more in the store you can enter for a drawing that will be held on Monday, February 27th at 5:00 p.m, where you could have a chance to win a $500.00 dollar certificate or one of two, $200.00 dollar gift certificates they will be giving away.