behind LeRoys Food Mart
are community minded servants
town store offers
big service area shoppers
LEXINGTON, Ind. (December 2011) It may not
be Kroger or Wal-Mart, but LeRoys isnt your typical run-of-the-mill
mega store. Entering the food mart, a visitor can find a variety of
special items. There are hog nose rings, fresh deli meat, even an occasional
Located at 7887 Main St., Lexington, Ind., LeRoys Food Mart is
part grocery store, supply store, restaurant and part entertainment.
The store is owned and run by LeRoy Williams along with his youngest
son, Chuck, 38. Williams wife of 46 years, Bernice, also helps
with the store and with catering.
John Sheckler, a musician who has played at LeRoys, considers
the store a place where any item can be found.
by Nichole Osinski
Food Mart in
Lexington, Ind., is part grocery
store, suppy store, restaurant and
I always call Leroys the center of the
known universe, said Sheckler. Because no matter what you
want, there is one of that item somewhere in the store.
Williams graduated from Charlestown High School in 1965 and started
a modest career selling RC Colas. He moved on to be a supervisor at
a bread company and eventually decided he would like to own his own
In 1978 Williams set up a convenience store in Borden, Ind., that offered
amenities such as gas and groceries. In 1990 he decided to sell the
business to help his brother, who sold tires.
However, Williams missed the independence of running his own business
and the ability to serve the public. After two years of selling tires,
he then opened what is now the current store in Lexington.
For Williams, the most important part of starting the business was making
friends and building connections. He already knew he wanted to provide
a variety of items and add entertainment on the weekends. Besides, he
feels that its in his blood to be in the business.
Growing up in the store vocation, Williams sons, Chuck and Tony,
were both interested in running a business. Chuck has helped run the
store for about three years. Tony has his own business, the Chelsea
General Store at 5975 S. State Road 62, just south of Lexington.
Were doing business to make a difference in the community,
said Tony. Thats how hes always shown me how to do
LeRoys community involvement goes beyond just providing basic
service to customers. Though Williams tries to sell a variety of products,
he has concentrated on serving a wide selection of food, especially
in the deli section.
He provides a home-style restaurant that seats between 80 and 85 people,
and of course theres the weekend music.
Every Saturday at 6 p.m. Williams invites people to come hear bluegrass,
country or gospel. Once in awhile there are karaoke nights, and he has
been known to get involved with the singing himself. According to Sheckler,
Williams even wrote a song about his days working for the bread company.
This is what Williams has been known for his love of what
he does and his care for the local community. He himself explains that
he enjoys getting up to open his store and taking care of the day ahead.
But like many business owners today, Williams and his son have faced
a troubled economy.
Its not like it used to be, said LeRoy. Its
tougher with Wal-Marts and being an independent grocery, but you find
a way to get through.
Maintaining a store with 14 employees and trying to find ways to save
money while offering quality items has been a challenge with which the
Williams family has learned to deal.
They buy in bulk and maintain a good track record with the local community.
While stores around them have been closing, LeRoys has kept its
doors open. There have even been requests to see if the Williams family
would take over various other stores.
The food marts location has been a positive aspect when confronting
local demand. Many residents find the close proximity more preferable
than driving a long distance to a large supply store.
Chuck is familiar with the majority of the customers and believes that
about 70 percent are regulars. And it is for the customers for whom
Williams works. Chuck and LeRoy make sure that when it comes to products
such as deli meats, there is no excuse to skimp on quality.
Williams and his family are maintaining an optimistic attitude and making
sure that they continue to stay involved in the community. Many of the
customers are their friends, and LeRoy knows that running a business
means maintaining a professional attitude.
With this kind of mindset there is even the possibility of adding on
to the store. LeRoy has thought about adding a building for music, entertainment
and parties. But ask anyone in the Williams family the basis for
why they do this and the word community will be in their
Were here for the community, said Chuck. We
have to be ambassadors and do the best we can.
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