CLINTON — Clinton IGA, a staple in the community for 60 years, will change owners on Dec. 2, 2019.
Champaign-based Kirby Foods, Inc., will take over ownership of the “Hometown Proud” grocery store and retain all the employees.
“The main thing to me was my people,” said owner Mike Chapman, who has been in the grocery business for 47 years. “I’ve turned down other offers to sell over the years, but this felt like the right fit at the right time.”
Anita McDonald and Donny Chapman will “continue to run the store as they have for years,” said Chapman.
Chapman said they will grandfather in all vacations and sick time for the employees.
It was a difficult decision to sell for Chapman who feels his employees are like family.
“A lot of my employees started here when they were 16 just like I did,” said Chapman. “I’ve watched their kids grow up.”
Chapman said he will remain in Clinton and plans to spend more time outdoors and with his wife, children, and five grandchildren.
“I’ve realized how important health, life and family are I want spend as much time as I can with them.”
December 1 will be Chapman’s final inventory before handing over ownership to Kirby.
“The Clinton store fits well into our geographical operating area,” said Kirby Foods President and CEO Larry Tobias. Kirby currently has 16 stores within a 90-mile radius.
Tobias said Kirby Foods sets itself apart from other grocery companies because it is 100 percent employee. “Employees have the opportunity to grow and share in the company.”
“Clinton is a great community,” he continued. “We are honored to be there.”