By SHERI GASSAWAY
St. Charles – The owners of Midtowne Market say their family has always believed that being a union employer is the right way to run a business.
The St. Charles grocer is owned by Roy Kohrs and his children Scott Kohrs and Julie Dampier. It is a member of UFCW Local 655 and the Meat Cutters Local 88.
“Unions exist to protect employees, and our employees negotiate under their own contract to receive fair pay and health benefits,” Scott Kohrs said.
“We have a good relationship with both unions and try to keep them updated on a regular basis.”
MAJORITY OF INDEPENDENT GROCERS ARE NON-UNION
Dampier said the majority of independent grocers are non-union.
“We are the exception,” she said. “I believe we are the only single-store operator that is union in the area.”
WAY OF LIFE
The supermarket business has been a way of life for the family for three generations. Roy’s father-in-law, Ernie Hedges, opened Hedges and Hafer Supermarket in the late 1950s.
Roy got involved with that business in the mid-1960s, and in 1984, he and a partner bought the market on Hawthorne, which was an existing IGA.
Scott and Julie began working at the market in their teens.
“It’s what we’ve always known and have done, and there is a real sense of community and hometown feel at the market,” Dampier said. “We grew up in St. Charles, and we try to give back when we can.”
LARGEST INDEPENDENT IN THE AREA
The market, which boasts more than 30,000 square feet, is one of the largest independent grocers in the greater
St. Louis area. It offers a full-service bakery, deli and meat department, along with many selections and amenities found at larger chain stores.
Midtowne Market is located at 317 Hawthorne Ave. at the corner of Elm Street in St. Charles. It is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, visit the company’s website at midtownemarket.net or call 636-946-3898.
Unions: UFCW Local 655 and Meat Cutters Local 88
Where: 317 Hawthorne Ave., St. Charles
Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily