Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hayfield grocery store is closing its doors

Hayfield’s only grocery store will be closing within the next few weeks.

Store owner Jim Baldus officially announced the closing last Friday. The closing, he said, is due to the condition of the building, specifically the roof which needs to be completely replaced for a retail business such as a grocery store to continue to operate.

Baldus said he had looked at all the options for financing replacement of the roof, but none of them worked out. He added that the City of Hayfield and the Hayfield Economic Development Authority had tried to find options that would work. He also looked at finding a new location in the city, but that effort was also unsuccessful.

“We have tried doing everything,” he said.

Baldus, who also owns Jim’s Marketplace in Austin, said that he has owned Ryan’s Foods for 25 years. The closing, he said, is especially hard because the store was named after his son, Ryan, who died last year.

Sales on all food items began this week. Through October 17, he said, there will be 20 percent off everything, including hardware and already sale-priced items. He added that they will continue to stock perishables including bread, milk, and produce until the last week.

He said he expected that the store will be busy the next few weeks and that the closing will likely be around the first week of November.

He also said that herring fans do not need to worry as the store will continue to sell Tiegen’s herring until it closes. Baldus said the herring, which comes in creamy, Cajun, and dill flavors is extremely popular with sales being in “hundreds of buckets.” The herring is also available at Jim’s Marketplace.

“I thank the community for their support the last 25 years,” he said. “They’ve supported us well.”

Ryan’s Food, he said, has eight employees, all of whom will be offered positions at the Austin store.

Baldus said they already have many Hayfield residents shopping at Jim’s Marketplace because many of them work in Austin.

“It’s about 18 miles to Austin and we do a lot of business with Hayfield residents now,” he said. Hayfield is primarily a bedroom community, he said, with most people employed in either Austin or Dodge Center.

The closing of Ryan’s Foods will leave the community of just over 1,300 with few options to buy groceries, especially produce. A Dollar General opened in the city last year and the Casey’s store does carry some food products.



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