By David Fleet
Groveland Twp. — Stop by Bueche’s Food World and there’s a good chance of meeting a neighbor, friend or acquaintance when walking the aisles of the local store. The iconic hometown food store which over the past three decades has grown to become the community center founded on the dedication and foresight of the Bueche family.
On Jan. 1, Christopher Bueche, who along with brother Denny established Bueche’s Food World in the community died.
He was 61.
“Although Chris is no longer with us, Bueche’s will work past the obstacle of his loss and continue serving our community for years to come,” said Denny Bueche. “We will miss Chris’ smile, sense of humor and his commitment to his family, customers, associates and friends.”
In 1914 the Bueche family first opened a small grocery store in Flushing, Mich. Over the next century the store went through several expansions and remodels with the continued focus on customer satisfaction along with providing high quality products.
Part of that expansion was south to Groveland Township.
“It was just an empty field at the corner of M-15 and Oakwood Road before the store was built,” said Joe Dore, a Bueche’s manager for more than 42 years. “There were just a few small grocery stores in the area when Bueche’s Food World opened in the summer of 1992. The store was the first modern supermarket to be located in the community. The same concept and dedication to customer service that succeeded in Flushing is now part of our area.”
Spartan Food Stores, along with the Bueches, targeted the Groveland Township site near the intersection of M-15 and Oakwood Road due to the anticipated growth of the Northern Oakland County area, he added.
Over the past 30 years Bueches continued to grow providing strong support to the community.
Between 1993-94, the Ortonville Bueche’s Plaza was expanded to include several tenants on the multi-acre business center. Then in 2001, the 30,000 square-feet store was increased by 10,000 square-feet as part of a major remodel to keep pace with competition and business demand.
In 2013 Spartan Food Stores merged with Minneapolis-based grocery distributor Nash Finch.
Today Bueche’s Food World Ortonville employs more than 100 locally and continues to remain active in the community from assisting with fundraisers to sponsorship to often providing the very first job to youth.
“A unique feature of Bueche’s are the courtesy clerks that assist customers by carrying groceries out to their vehicles. The high level of customer service is also reflected in the way we do business every day,” said Dore. “From the exceptional deli to a full bakery to a complete meat department that provides homemade sausages, specialty cut products and even recipes when needed, we are steadfast in our commitment to our second century of business.”
“The Bueche family is very proud to be a part of the Flushing and Ortonville communities,” he said.