Lancaster grocery store changing hands

Council approves loan for Langeruds to purchase inventory

By Anna Jauhola
Starting early January, Lancaster’s grocery store will have new owners and a new name.
Jason and Shannon Langerud are in the process of finalizing their purchase of Family Foods, which will soon bear the name J and S Grocery. The couple attended the Lancaster City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 11 to request funding from the city’s revolving loan fund.
The council approved an $80,000 loan request, which will go toward the Langerud’s inventory for the store.
“We received a full, final payment of $47,300 from PodCo,” said Carol Johnson, city clerk. “So right now, your loan fund has $95,364 in it.”
In reviewing the Langerud’s loan application, the council decided the loan would carry 1 percent interest and that collateral on the loan would include fixtures rather than accounts. Johnson said the council hasn’t asked to review accounts or financials of any loan recipients because it is such a small town.
According to the loan application information presented at the meeting, the Langeruds are purchasing the business and building from the current owners on a contract for deed.
They will do renovations, 70 percent of which will be covered by a grant and the rest covered out-of-pocket by the Langeruds. They plan to retain the six to eight part-time employees.
The loan will be spread out over 15 years with monthly payments to the city.
Councilor Faye Potrament asked if everything was going well in the planning and preparations. Jason Langerud said they’re working on everything, including permits, applications and licenses.
“I’d say the inventory is more than $80,000 though. Probably more like $100,000,” he said. “At the time we (applied for the loan) we didn’t know what the fund was at. So I guess I would ask for the max amount is you’re comfortable with. And whatever you do, we’ll be grateful.”
Councilor Luke Nordin asked whether they will need to work on making the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Johnson said that was an issue when the revolving loan fund was handled through the USDA, and then usually applies only to new construction.
However, because the fund is now solely administered through the city, that isn’t a set rule in obtaining the loan.
The council easily approved the request for $80,000 for the Langeruds to purchase inventory for the grocery store and wished them luck in their endeavor.

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