New Ely Zup’s store set to open this Wednesday

by Nick Wognum
An army of workers were stocking shelves, putting up displays and even installing a music system at the new Ely Zup’s store Thursday morning.
At 7 a.m. this Wednesday the doors will open to the public. That the building was once a Shopko will soon be a distant memory.
“I think when you walk in here you’re going to say this isn’t Shopko. We have beautiful floors in here, the wall decor is absolutely phenomenal and I think people are really going to like the clean, full, fresh look,” said Jim Zupancich.
“The store actually looks bigger than when it was a Shopko,” said Zupancich. “It’s just a nice store. I’ve had people say this is something you would find in a big city. We’re all proud of what we have here. Our employees have stepped it up and the people working with us have been fantastic.”
There’s still a lot to get done before Wednesday and there are some items that haven’t arrived yet.
“We’re not going to be 100 percent but we’ll probably be at 90 percent on Wednesday,” said Jim Zupancich. “We added 4,000 items to the store and they all have to be put in the system.”
Expanded selections and plenty of new products will greet customers starting Wednesday.
“There’s over 4,000 items that Zup’s never carried before and everything that Donna carried at Northland Market we will carry,” said Zupancich. “We’re shooting for November to open the liquor store, there’s still some things on backorder.”
The history of Zup’s Food Market dates back to 1916 with the now closed top of the hill store in Ely being open for 38 years.
Zup’s closed that store on Oct. 11 and relocated to Northland Market.
Zupancich said he expects Northland Market to close at the end of the day on Tuesday with the new store opening the next morning. “We don’t have enough staff to keep both stores open but we’re hoping to get the inventory down.”
Self checkouts were being installed on Thursday and the goal is to have two of the four open this week.
And instead of carryouts there will be employees bagging groceries and putting them back into the cart. Customers can then push their cart out into the parking lot, unload them and use the cart corrals.
“The reason why we’re doing this is labor, we can’t find enough labor,” said Zupancich.
While meat and produce items won’t be put out until Tuesday in order to be as fresh as possible, freezers are already stocked as well as most shelves.
“There’s motion sensors in the freezers that turn the lights on as you get close, they’re very energy efficient. There’s 19 doors of ice cream, we used to have like 10,” said Zupancich.
The meat department also has more room than in the old store.
“We are very pleased with how this has all come out,” said Zupancich. “The pharmacy is not completed yet but the Nash Finch group here is incredible. All of our workers from Northland Market and Zup’s have been great.”
Mauro Caruso was walking around the store installing a new sound system. Don’t fear, the same music will be playing.
“By vote of the older staff in the store we decided to keep the old time music that we had in the old store,” said Zupancich.
A grand opening celebration is being planned for December.
“We want to make sure everything is done and everything is right for the grand opening,” said Zupancich.
Starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday the doors will open and a new Zup’s tradition will begin.