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[November 13, 2012]
Going beyond the call at Larry's Super Market
Nov 13, 2012 (Fergus Falls Daily Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- As the only full service supermarket in Pelican Rapids, Larry's is a hub of activity. For those that can't get outside to go shopping on their own, Larry's provides a valuable service, and has been doing so for more than 30 years.
"People call in their order, and we deliver it," said Lora Benhardun, who has been employed at Larry's for 11 years. "We primarily go to Riverfront Manor and the Mill Pond Apartments, for people that have physical limitations or other reasons that make it difficult for them to get out." Grocery and deli order delivery services are free. Orders are called in by 9:30 a.m., and deliveries go out at 1 p.m. There are typically about 10 deliveries per day, more during the summer.
It's a social visit, too -- every customer is known by name. Benhardun offers to put heavy or perishable items away. A check is usually ready when groceries are delivered, but sometimes Benhardun will help residents complete their check, or make change if they are paying in cash.
The first stop Thursday was Riverfront Manor, an assisted living retirement residence that is part of the Pelican Valley Health Center Campus.
"We really appreciate everything Larry's does for us," said Angela Brody, a published writer and resident in Riverfront Manor. Angela shows us her book, and said the book club will be coming over later, as Benhardun puts beverages in the fridge to chill.
With the first round of deliveries made, the Larry's van zooms off down the road to the Mill Pond View Apartments.
"Our residents live independently, but there are a lot of reasons that make it difficult for them to get out shopping," said Margaret Farris, manager of Mill Pond View Apartments.
Mill Pond Apartments are independent living apartments for seniors 62 and over, or those with a disability. While customizable home health services are available on-site for residents, the ability to live independently is important.
"We are really happy Larry's provides this service, especially for residents that may have an issue such as blindness or poor eyesight," said Farris. "They really go above and beyond." "We'll bring them a roll of quarters for the laundry, or a hot dish for dinner from the deli," said Benhardun. "It's a little challenging during the winter keeping hot food hot, and keeping ice cream frozen during the summer -- we have to deliver fast, and in a certain order." Joanne Frazier takes the orders at the store, and is an expert personal shopper. Since she knows all of the customers, if someone asks for two percent milk, she'll know what brand they want.
There is one customer that regularly asks for the store to "send me something fun." so Frazier may add in a star fruit or whatever is new and different in the store that she thinks the customer would like.
"It's just something we've always done because people needed it," said Cyndy Stotesbery. Cyndy's dad started the first Larry's Super Market in 1967 in Wadena. The Pelican Rapids store opened in 1977, which Stotesbery owns and operates with her husband, Phil.
"I did the deliveries myself for many years and really enjoyed it," said Stotesbery. "It's the right thing to do for the community." ___ (c)2012 the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minn.) Visit the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minn.) at www.fergusfallsjournal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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