ALPENA, Mich. —Neiman’s Family Market, located in the Thunder Bay Shopping Center, has been supplying groceries to Alpena residents for many years. On Sep. 8, President and CEO, Bryan Neiman, along with other family members, made the decision to close down the store.
Thirty-seven years ago his father Hal moved his family from Ann Arbor to Alpena to open the store. Working with the business soon became a family tradition. “We grew the business to four stores, and then my sister, brother, and I all came back, and now the three of us own it together,” said Bryan. “It’s a family tradition, and we’re all in the business. We’re very fortunate and very blessed to be able to start here in Alpena, Michigan.”
Bryan says over the past several years, it’s become more difficult for independent grocery stores. In Alpena, the population has been shrinking and competition has been getting tougher, with more ways than ever for customers to do their shopping. “The challenging part that we’re having here is the Alpena pie has gotten smaller with more grocery space being put into the community over the last five years,” he said.
When the coronavirus outbreak first began, Neiman’s, like many other grocery stores, saw a huge rise in sales. However, the pandemic later provided challenges by causing issues with supply chains as well as impacting the staff. “That is definitely a challenge right now. We had to close our delis because we couldn’t find staffing.”
Regarding the community of Alpena and all of those who worked with the store, Bryan had one final message. “We’re very thankful for everything you did for us as a family. We will miss you greatly and we just appreciate everything you’ve always done. Good luck, God bless, and we couldn’t be more thankful to the people who have worked for us over the last few years.”
Neiman’s has three other locations in Tawas City, St. Clair, and Clarkston. The Alpena location is set to close on or before October 4.