October 12th marked Don Schulte’s 75th birthday. It also marked the end of an era as Don retired from 59 years in the grocery business, the past 31 as owner/operator of Don’s Foods in Goodhue. Don didn’t want a party, but his employees stayed after closing the night before to set up decorations to celebrate his birthday and retirement. All 9 employees will continue to work for new owners, Pete and Regina Poncelet.
Don’s first day at the Red Owl in Roseville was memorable as it was the same day President Kennedy was shot. Although less dramatic, Don also remembers his first day as owner of Don’s Foods. He recalls it was a Sunday and his very first customer was Dennis Heaney. Long-time residents will remember that the store was originally Heaney’s Meat Market and then Heaney and Gorman’s grocery. The meat department and bakery continue to be top sellers.
Although Don and his wife, Mary, live in Hastings, he has gotten to know many local people and can easily recall former patrons who have passed away. With so many customers coming in to wish him well he says, “It’s not just the friendships but the sense of community in this town” that he will miss. He says he doesn’t have any real plans for his retirement beyond staying in bed an extra hour on his first day off and spending more time with his dogs and at his cabin. The Schultes will also have more time for their children, Keith and Angie and extended family.
New owners, Pete and Regina Poncelet, took over the business on Monday, October 17th. They also own The Third Place but having sold their share of the Country Station two years ago, felt it was time for a new project. They will be making some upgrades to the store including installing new coolers. There have been delays in the arrival of the new equipment so no dates have been set but they expect the store to be closed for about 2 weeks during the renovation. . The store’s new name will be the Goodhue Market and is currently open 8 AM- 6 PM Monday-Saturday and 9 AM-1 PM on Sundays.
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