The Food Markets at Key Center and Lake Kathryn have been sold to a new owner, and Lake Kathryn may also be getting a new retail tenant.
Don Stolz sold the two businesses to The Myers Group, a large retail management company specializing in grocery stores. Stolz said he’s known Tyler Myers for over 25 years.
“He’s a longtime independent grocery operator, has multiple grocery stores from Alaska to Oregon,” he said. “He also operates five or six Ace Hardware stores.”
Stolz said Myers intends to convert the Lake Kathryn store into an Ace Hardware, but that will likely take some months.
“It’s still going to have some groceries, but not to the extent of a full grocery store,” Stolz said. “I can’t speak for Tyler, but I expect … the essentials will be there.”
Stolz has owned the Key Center Food Market for 20 years after buying the old Walt’s store. After he opened the new one, he said women came in with tears in their eyes. “I don’t think they knew what a real grocery store looked like.”
New ownership should begin on or around March 6, Stolz said, without any immediate drastic changes.
“All the details have already been worked through, but now it’s just a matter of pushing papers and having the right people sign the right documents for liquor licenses and those sorts of things to be transferred,” Stolz said.
He also said that no one will be losing their job, according to Myers. “Everyone who wants their job, still has their job.”
The Tacoma born and raised Stolz is retiring but will still be involved. He only sold the businesses; he still owns the Key Center shopping center, and the Lake Kathryn store is leased from that property owner, Don Zimmerman of Cost Less Pharmacy fame.
“I’m very appreciative of all the community support out here and hopefully we’ve been a good community member,” Stolz said. “We’ve done the ‘tapes for charity’ donation for years and years, where people keep their receipts, and we donate 1% to their charity.”
He said Myers uses the Round Up at the Register program but picks a single charity each month.
“I would really encourage any of the organizations that we’ve been involved with, like Food Backpacks 4 Kids, the KP Senior Center and others that have been pretty active users to contact the store soon and ask how to get on the list to be one of those 12 organizations.”
Lake Kathryn Village may also be getting another new tenant: The Gallery, part of a Washington state chain of recreational marijuana stores.
The Key Peninsula Advisory Commission reviewed its application for a conditional use permit at its Feb. 15 meeting; Pierce County had already recommended approval.
The application goes before the county hearing examiner March 22 at the Pierce County Public Services Building.
The only public comment against included in the review of the application came from an attorney for Sweet Jane LLC, a marijuana retailer located at The Harvest Time Country Store and gas station complex one-quarter mile east of Lake Kathryn Village on State Route 302. The comment said that “a religious facility was located within 1,000 lineal feet to the newly proposed retail marijuana location.”
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