Strack & Van Til Families Buy back 20 Stores at Bankruptcy hearing of Failed Mega Parent Company Central Grocers – July 11

The future of the Strack & Tan Til chain of 20 grocery stores is looking up, including their Rensselaer location, as the family partnership grocery company bought back sole ownership of the stores from a New Youk bankruptcy court on Tuesday July 11th. In 1997 the Stracks chain was sold to the mega grocery store company Central Grocers which in April was forced into bankruptcy by suppliers that it owed $225 millions and had not paid for any stock in several months, at that time.

Strack & Van Til President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Strack said he, the Strack family, the Van Til family and a few others put in a successful bid for 20 Strack & Van Til stores and “We won!” he said.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge Pamela S. Hollis will have to approve the sale at a hearing next Tuesday July 18. Strack, who had long retained 10 percent of the Highland-based supermarket chain, said the new ownership group is called the Indiana Grocery Group. According to court records, the bankruptcy court was entertaining a bid for Strack & Van Til stores in Cedar Lake, Chesterton, Crown Point, East Chicago, Hammond, Highland, Hobart, Lowell, Munster, Rensselaer, St. John, Schererville, Valparaiso and Whiting, as well as for Town & Country Markets in Portage and Valparaiso, an Ultra Foods store on Broadway in Merrillville, a central bakery in Valparaiso and the corporate headquarters in Highland.

“The Strack and The Van Til families are excited for the opportunity to continue to serve the communities of NWI as we have for over 80 years,” Strack said. “While this will be a new company, we will continue to have the same connection to NWI as Ernie Strack and Nick Van Til did when they started their partnership years ago. Our associates, vendor partners and most importantly our customers are why we continue to work so hard. They are the reasons we are here and we appreciate them and will work hard for them. When it comes down to it — we are Indiana Made.”

Central Grocers, the failed former corporate owner of the Stracks chain produced the generic brand Centrella and is being liquidated by the bankruptcy court. At this time the future of their generic brand is unknown. If the Centrella brand would cease to exist it is also unknown what generic brand the Stracks chain will carry.

Story by Jasper County Online News.

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