GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Original Austin’s grocery store owners retiring as new owners are stepping in

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) – There’s nothing like taking a trip to your neighborhood grocery store. In the age of Amazon Grocery and Instacart, some people just like to keep it simple.

The Original Austin’s Grocery Store in Allouez has been around for 68 years, and 36 of those were spent at its current location in Allouez. Charles Austin and his wife Gwen opened the original store on the corner of 9th Street and Ridge Road in 1953. Since it first opened, the store prides itself on cleanliness and friendliness.

The store has been around for decades, but surprisingly the owners say not much is different from when they first opened.

“In a way, I think that’s part of the uniqueness, a lot of it didn’t change. Most of my crew, they know everybody that comes in here by name, and that just doesn’t happen at most places,” says Richard Austin.

The store’s owners, Charles’s three sons, Bob, Rick, and Steve, are retiring at the end of the month. Mike ‘Sal’ Sarvello of Sal’s Foods in Black Creek will be taking over. The importance of family and community is so deeply-oriented in the business, that the staff isn’t worried.

“I can just tell that it’s going to stay the way it is. Everybody’s gonna know everybody and it’s just one person retiring and another one taking over,” says Jill Prosser, the store’s assistant manager.

Prosser has worked at Austin’s for 36 years. The people of Green Bay and its surrounding areas are the reason she has stuck around for so long.

“I’ve seen cashiers that I’ve hired in high school that now their kids are here working for us. It’s always been that way. It’s so family-oriented, it’s an icon of Allouez. I’ve been here 36 years, I love what I do,” says Prosser.

James Gilmore has been shopping at Austin’s since the 1970’s. He keeps coming back to Austin’s over the other grocery stores in the area, because the Austin’s experience is one-of-a-kind.

“I have that connection with neighborhood people and people that are in my parish and I just cherish that,” says Gilmore.

Gilmore’s neighbor knows the Sarvello family.

“My thinking is they are basically from the same stock the Austin’s were from. They care about their customers and will retain what Charlie and his family have done over the years,” says Gilmore.

The Original Austin’s Grocery store is located on 3823 S Webster Ave.

For more information on the Original Austin’s Grocery Store, click here.

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