North Shore Market is now Tofte General Store
The first thing people driving through Tofte will notice is that the name of the North Shore Market has been changed to the Tofte General Store. The storefront has also been repainted and quite a few changes have taken place inside.
It’s been a couple of months since Joe “Big Joe” and Jill Sanders purchased the North Shore Market from Cliff and Nancy Iverson, and since the sale the staff has been hard at work.
The biggest difference is that a new vendor—Mason Brothers out of Wadena, MN— now delivers groceries and produce to the store. That meant the store’s aisles had to be completely re-stocked with new product, and the shelves are neat, trim, and full.
Since the switch, said Joe Sanders, “Grocery prices have gone down considerably. We are able to offer our shoppers a wide variety of items at a good price.
“We are also cutting our own meat and grinding our own burger. We also sell locally produced turkey wild rice sausage, pork wild rice sausage and brats, and we try to always have smoked lake trout, smoked salmon and smoked white fish on hand.
“When I can, I bring up fresh produce from Southern Minnesota,” said Joe, whose other business enterprises take him to Southern Minnesota frequently.
When interviewed by the News-Herald, Sanders said, “On Sunday I brought fresh zucchini, bell peppers and cucumbers that had just been picked. You can’t get fresher produce than that. Whenever I can, I will also buy locally grown produce.”
In the fall or early winter Joe plans to replace the current flooring and maybe add or re-arrange some of the refrigeration cases. All of the lighting is new and most interior walls have a fresh coat of paint.
Some of the things the staff has been trying to get to have been put on hold because, as Sanders said, “They’re too busy. The parking lot is usually full and the staff is working hard to keep up. It’s just what we want, and everyone is learning as they go.”
Lisa Nelson is the general manager of the store and Sanders said, “Lisa is a hard worker, very nice to everyone and people just love her.”
Down the road, on the back burner, Sanders said he might put in more organic products, “But that’s a maybe. We’ll just have to see how it goes. I’m not going to promise that. We’ll just keep making progress and go from there. So far I’m very happy with the response and support the public has given the employees and me. They have been enthusiastic and kind. Can’t say much more than that.”