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Management Changes At Food Pride

By Staff | Feb 24, 2009

“March 2 will be the first day you’ll see my face around here,” says Kent Wagner, with a smile.

Wagner will become manager of the Emmetsburg Food Pride store at the beginning of next month.

Store owner Randy Joersz made the announcement, also stating that he will assume the role of CEO to help the company go forward. Joersz will work from offices at his Emmetsburg home.

Emmetsburg is the largest of the four Food Pride stores owned by Joersz, and much of the focus has been on the Emmetsburg store.

“With all the challenges in the industry, I?need to focus on the corporate aspects,” said Joersz.

Wagner has been in the grocery business for over 20 years. He began working as a meat cutter in 1990 when Joe Joyce owned the store. He moved to Sheldon for a brief time, then returned to Emmetsburg after Joersz bought the business in May 1999. Wagner has worked at the Emmetsburg and Laurens locations.

Wagner has been with the Laurens store for the past eight years, and was co-manager with Rita Schmidt. Rita will now take over the job as manager.

“I love working with people,” said Wagner. “It’s enjoyable to help the public. When customers come into the store it’s like greeting extended family.”

Wagner and Joersz plan to make the Emmetsburg store a little more shopper friendly by opening up some space.

“We’re going to have more room in the aisles and more room in the display area,” said Joersz. “Kent has been instrumental in a lot of the changes we’re making.”

The first 36-feet will be the Wall of Values, a display area with hot deals. The flower shop and the beer cave have both been huge successes that Joersz refers to as “our shining stars.”

“We want people to stop in and see some of the changes,” he said. “We’re going to supply a nice, happy atmosphere for shoppers.”

Wagner went to meat cutting school in Pipestone, MN.?Since the fall of 1990, Kent has been with the same group of stores. Nicole, Kent’s wife, also works at the Emmetsburg Food Pride store. They have a son, Taylor, who is in the eighth grade.

“I’m excited to come back and work in this store,” he said.

Kent has been involved in the community. He coached Little League for six or seven years and he has been active with the Little E’Hawk Wrestling program. In fact, he is past president of Little E’Hawk Wrestling and spent a lot of volunteer time with the construction of the new building.?Kent also enjoys playing golf.

“I’m a community person, but I just haven’t had time,” said Joersz. “I’m looking forward to doing some more things I enjoy.”

Randy Joersz has been an active part of the Emmetsburg Retail Association. He hopes to get Kent involved with the group and Randy will take a more active role with the Chamber of Commerce. Joersz is also a member of Rotary.

“I’m excited for Kent to be here,” said Joersz. “It’s nice to bring a friendly face back to our Emmetsburg store. We are positioning ourselves for growth in the future.”