Changing with the times to offer quality at competitive prices, Rosier's Deli Mart, 1428 S. SR 53, has served the Tiffin area for 30 years.
The store and the adjoining Brenda's Hair Place are to mark the anniversary with specials and giveaways next week.
The store is to host drawings and a storewide sale to celebrate the occasion. Brenda's Hair Place is to offer gift certificate giveaways and specials.
PHOTO BY CATHY WILLOUGHBY
Owners of Rosier’s Deli Mart, Denny and Brenda Rosier, stand by their full service meat counter.
Denny and Brenda Rosier said they were a young couple when they decided to buy the business in April 1981. Denny said he had worked at Whirlpool, and wished to get away from factory work. Brenda said she had been working as a hair stylist at Jan's Hair Fashions.
"Neither of us knew anything about running a store," Denny said. "With the salon in front, I knew I could handle that," Brenda said. "The store was a scary adventure."
They said they didn't make many changes initially, yet the couple expanded their business holdings. A store was purchased in McCutchenville and it became Rosier's Country Market, which they operated for 20 years. Then they said they purchased the Marathon full service station in Sycamore, owning it for 10 years and putting in a deli before selling it eight years ago.
They said running a business has become harder over the years because it takes more to keep customers coming in. The couple said it takes much of their time, but they still find time for family and volunteering as New Riegel Emergency Medical Technicians.
Denny said he split his time between the three stores. Brenda worked in the salon two days a week, at the McCutchenville store one day a week and the Tiffin store the rest of the week.
"The kids helped us through the years, we worked them both here," Denny said.
The Rosier's said they employ 14 people in the store, and four in the salon.
Many of their employees have been there for many years; one, Jenny Werling, has worked for the couple since 1987 and managed the McCutchenville store at one time. Meat cutter, Dave Tusing, has been there for 25 years. Stylists Sharon Gase and Rita Laibe moved with Brenda to the shop; two others, Doris Zirger and Lori Williams were added about three years ago.
"You have to have a backbone of good employees to survive," Denny said. "We strive to have good customer service."
"We made a lot of changes over the years," Brenda said. "The hot deli was added on in 1991. And we put in the gas pumps in 1999. We had to make changes to attract the customers."
"We survived the Sack 'n' Save, The Pharm, two Kroger moves," Brenda noted. "For our privately owned business to survive for 30 years feels like a great accomplishment."
The couple also said it takes a loyal customer base to maintain a locally owned business.
The store provides a full-service meat department. If an individual wants just one of a cut of meat, they can request it.
"None of our meat is pre-packaged, we cut it on-site," Denny said. "Our pork is all local, from Daisyfield in Castalia. The deli is popular, a lot of our items are from Walnut Creek Amish. The hot foods, entrees are made right here. The sausage and casings are made here. Many of our in-store items you can't buy anywhere else."
When people first visit the store, they often are surprised by the variety of items offered, Brenda said.
"There are a variety of groceries too," she said. "And we have a 24-foot wine display. We did that a few years ago, and we offer Sunday sales on wine. We try to do whatever will help bring people in here."
The focus of services offered at the salon has changed over the years as well, Brenda said. Initially, women came in for weekly shampoos and sets or permanents.
"Now people come in for haircuts and colors every four to six weeks," she said. "Starting out as a hairdresser is hard, I don't think girls give it a chance. You have to build up a clientele, sometimes that takes a while."
Some of Brenda's customers have been with her since she started at beauty school, and have become like family.
Denny said he also operates an ice business, BrRr Ice Company. He maintains a small ice delivery route, supplying wedding or other party ice rentals as well as ice cream and daiquiri machines.
Rosier's Deli Mart hours, which include the store and gas pumps, are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. It is open 365 days a year.