CRIDERSVILLE — Casey’s General Store held its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at its first Ohio store Friday, passing out samples of its home-made pizza and doughnuts.
It was a time of celebration not only for Casey’s but for the town that adds a store that serves warm foods such as pizza and offers gasoline for an affordable price.
“Cridersville is much like the model we look for. It’s a small town, solid community, competition is still strong but we have a great model that works,” said Casey’s CEO and President Terry Handley.
Handley made the trip from Iowa to Ohio to mark the first Ohio store with others in the plans in the near future.
Handley said 60 percent of Casey stores are in towns of 5,000 or fewer people.
“This is the perfect community for us,” Handley said. “We have small town values and a small town culture. We want to take care of people and take care of our neighbors. We want to be involved in our communities.”
Cridersville Mayor Rick Walls said the store is a perfect fit for the area. It’s located at the intersection of Main Street and Dixie Highway, near I-75.
“This is just the first of what we hope will be a continued effort to bring some new businesses into our town,” Walls said. “I read a lot about them on the internet and they are a very hometown kind of organization so they fit Cridersville perfect.”
Cridersville and Wapakoneta Director of Economic Development Greg Myers said the village put together an investment group about eight years ago to buy the location and several plots that were combined into one. The location was home to numerous businesses over the years, he said.
The group then sought out a real estate agent who helped find Casey’s and the company broke ground last summer to build the store.
“This is a great facility. It’s great for local people, and it’s going to be great for out-of-town people,” Myers said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.