OROVILLE – The owner’s of Prince’s Foods in Oroville announced the sale of their grocery store to Akins Harvest Foods last week.
Akins Harvest Foods is an independent, family-owned grocery company in Quincy, Wash. The ownership change will be effective with the beginning of the new year on Jan. 1, 2010
“After 76 years in the business, the decision to sell the grocery store was very difficult for our family,” said Jim Prince, co-owner with his brother Ben.
“We have faced the reality that we are not getting any younger and want to ensure the continuity of Prince’s Foods to serve customers, provide local jobs and support the Oroville community well into the future,” he adds.
Akins Foods, operated by John and Tamy Akins, is a 48-year-old, independent, family-owned grocery company.
We look forward to continuing the Prince’s legacy in Oroville as a successful independent grocery retailer,” said John Akins, president of Akins Foods.
“As we explored potential buyers, it was important to our family to find one with a similar approach to the grocery business,” Prince said. “We are confident that the Akins and their company are a good fit. They are well respected in the grocery industry and are community oriented.”
Prince said the new owners have been encouraged to retain the current grocery store employees. The Akins met with employees last week when the announcement was made, according to Prince.
“The staff are good people… we recommended they rehire the entire staff,” Prince said.
The Akins will purchase the grocery business and their company will lease the building from the Prince family. The Princes will continue to own and operate Prince’s Department Store.
“We’ve always felt we wanted an independent company to buy the grocery store. They are from a rural community too and they know the needs of a rural area,” said Prince.
The grocery and department store share a large el-shaped building joined in the middle at Customer Service. This floor plan allows customers to go back and forth between the two stores without having to pass through a separate entrance. Prince said he believes the two businesses will continue to maintain the same hours, but if there were to be a change where one side closes or opens earlier than the other they would work out how to handle it if the time comes.
Prince’s Foods was founded in 1933 on Main Street in downtown Oroville and has since grown to become the largest independent grocery store in the Okanogan Valley.