The owner of the oldest grocery store chain in Omaha has decided to sell one of his stores. Channel 6 News spoke with Mike Schwartz Sunday about his plans.
Schwartz has been in the grocery store business basically his whole life. “Since I was 7 years old and then when my father retired over 20 years ago, I took over the store 100 percent."
The store he’s talking about is Wohlner’s. It’s a neighborhood grocery chain that’s been in Omaha since 1918. Currently, there are stores at Aksarben Village and Midtown Crossing. Both locations have a following of customers. “My favorite thing is the bread,” said Kenny Sailors. “It’s sourdough and it’s great. They make it homemade here every day. It’s fresh and wonderful.”
Schwartz used to run both stores, but recently decided to sell the Aksarben location to Rama Kilaru. “I decided that I wasn’t a two grocery store person and I really wanted to concentrate and get back to my roots, what I’ve always done,” said Schwartz.
Now Schwartz is concentrating solely on the Midtown Crossing store. He says there’s been a steady growth at the midtown location since it opened in 2010. He says sales were up 38 percent last year from 2011.
Schwartz says the new owner doesn’t plan to make many changes to the store. He will even keep the Wohlner’s name. As for Wohlner’s customers, they are relieved the stores will still be around. “I like their fresh meats and their service and I’ve just grown up in that neighborhood,” said Laurie Moran.
Schwartz does plan to change the name of the store at Midtown Crossing. He hasn’t yet decided on the new name.