New owners to take over Food World Thursday

Published 11:25 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The name will stay the same and the same faces will greet customers, but beginning Thursday, Food World in Troy will in new hands.

HAC, Inc., a regional supermarket chain based in Oklahoma City, has acquired the store formerly owned by Belle Foods and will transition the local store this week.

“We will inventory the store [Wednesday] night and then become owners during the night once we settle up on the inventory,” said Philip Payment, vice president of marketing for HAC. “Then we will start to put a new face on that store.”

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Payment said that any former employee of Belle Foods who wants to work for HAC will have a job.

“The store is full of dedicated, long term associates who only want to better serve their customers,” said HAC CEO Darryl Fitzgerald. “We plan to fill this store up and give this team the tools they need to better serve their customers.”

And the company sees no reason to change the name of the store, either.

“We would rather the customers feel at home and like we are just improving the operation,” Payment explained. “If you look at our portfolio of stores, we operate under many banners.”

Some of those operation names include Piggly Wiggly, Super Save, Super Plaza and Homeland. Most of the company’s 87 stores are based in Oklahoma, however HAC’s latest 11 acquired from Belle Foods are in the Southeast. Ten are in Georgia and the Troy store caught the company’s eye because of the “location and potential.”

“We are excited to be a part of Troy, Alabama,” Payment said. “I think there is a great opportunity there for us to grow and in a couple of weeks customers should see a big difference.”

One of the differences HAC will bring to Food World in Troy is a broader offering of private label items, including Best Choice and Always Save. Best Choice, Payment explained, is a national brand equivalent and Always Save is a “quality product for cost conscious consumers.”

The local Food World will be supplied by Associated Wholesale Grocers out of Nashville when HAC formally takes over the business.