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May 21, 2013

JayC celebrates 150 years

John C. Groub

JayC Food Stores is celebrating 150 years in business this month. It began in 1863 when John C. Groub, a Swiss youth, made his way to Indiana, by selling matches to obtain transportation from Louisville to Rockford, Indiana. There he worked in a grocery store for Jacob Peter. Having made a "nest egg," he moved two miles southward to the new city of Seymour.

John C. Groub's first store was in a building on South Chestnut Street. The front was a grocery store, with the back used for living quarters. The location is thought to be the present dwelling at 320 South Chestnut or the duplicate dwelling which is adjacent to this property. The business grew and Mr. Groub secured a downtown location on West Second Street, in 1871. In 1880 he began wholesaling, and when this part of the business prospered, he and his family temporarily stopped being retail grocers. An 1885 publication stated that John C. Groub's results so exceeded his expectations, that his sales reached "nearly $80,000 a year by 1885."

The wholesale business continued to expand. Mr. Theodore Groub (son of John C. Groub) brought his sons, John C. and Thomas C, into the business, and expanded sales throughout southern Indiana. Sales representatives called on grocers each week. Their travel and the delivery of groceries was by train, with transfers to carts and horse drawn drays in the various communities. A third floor was added to the old warehouse, and a water power elevator operated between floors. Deliveries by truck started in about 1919, and satellite warehouses were established in Mitchell and Connersville.

The "chain store age" began in the mid 1920's, causing wholesale and independent retailers to face new challenges. With wholesale sales declining, it was decided the company should again attempt to enter retailing. Head salesman, Harry O. Lee, established the successful trial unit, called "Jake's Store," and this led to the opening of the first "Jay C " food store in Scottsburg in 1927.

Friendly service and low everyday prices on basic foods proved attractive to customers, and the chain of mostly small stores grew to a total of 44 units in the 1940's. In those times independent "meat markets" did most of the meat business. The small Jay C's were particularly limited in the areas of fresh meat and produce. The 1950's, particularly after 1955, revealed changes in Jay C Stores toward larger self-service markets, with full meat and produce departments.

Although little change took place prior to 1920 in warehousing and distribution, the arrival of the truck caused the first big change in this area. It was not until after World War II that product handling and warehousing methods significantly changed. In 1938 the Groub Company moved from its three story building in downtown Seymour to a new two story building at 110 Ewing Street. This move aided growth, but in the 1960s the facilities became crowded and there was no adjacent expansion space. The new 1964 warehouse was one of the first in the country with 25 feet of unobstructed height. There was substantial change in the method of picking orders, using tractor pulled trains of carts instead of the individually hand-propelled push carts, and new high lift fork trucks placed stock in slots, instead of cases being stacked by hand on the floor. Additions were made to the warehouse in 1968 and again in 1974. Construction was started in 1980 to substantially increase refrigerated space.

Members of the John C. Groub family owned the company until merging with The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) in 1999. This merger made Jay C part of the largest and most successful grocery stores chains in America. In 2001, Jay C built its first fuel center, adding it to its North Vernon store. This gave the customers another convenience. Jay C opened its first pharmacy in 2002, in the first newly opened Jay C Plus in Bedford, Indiana. Since then, Jay C has added four additional fuel centers and pharmacies in select stores.

With the introduction of the Jay C Plus card and the promotion of the Jay C Food Stores eighth president, Paul L. Bowen, in 2003, Jay C continues to grow its sales and customer base. In 2011 Jay C opened four new Ruler Food Stores and as of 2013, Ruler now has a total of 16 stores. Ruler continues to grow, build new stores and is a huge part of the Jay C organization.

Bowen said, "Being in one of the most competitive businesses in the country, Jay C Stores are proud of their record of progress, and there is optimism that this progress will measurably continue. Jay C management believes that the credit for the growth and progress goes to all of the company's team members. Not just the company, but all Jay C employees have benefited from this team effort.

People in the company have received annual cash profit shares for 55 years, and the company has consistently held true to a management promise, that "As the company progresses, so shall its people."

Bowen said, "You can bet that Jay C recognizes that in the future, pleasing customers will be increasingly important. We'll be working together as never before to retain and to grow our loyal customer base."

Options considered to fund career center

Cindy Ward
Staff Writer

Funding for renovation was a big part of the discussion at the Southeastern Career Center Board of Managers on May 8 at the career center, Versailles. Attending the regular meeting were Dr. James Roberts, Batesville Schools; Dr. Thomas Reale, Milan Schools; Stephen Patz, Rising Sun Schools; Karl Galey, Lawrenceburg Schools; Dr. Terry Sargent, Jennings County Schools; Dr. Jeff Hendrix, Sunman-Dearborn Schools; Mike Jones, Switzerland County Schools; Dr. Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger, Madison Schools; Dr. John Mehrle, South Dearborn Schools; Dr. Leanna Phillipe, Jac-Cen-Del Schools; and Rob Moorhead, South Ripley Schools. Also present were Brad Street, career center director, and Larry Eaton.

Eaton gave the board some guidance on how to fund the career center's renovation project. Street said that the HVAC cost has nearly doubled in price from the original $1.5 million to $2,968,000 projected cost. Street said the reason for the increase is due to changes in the codes for air exchange, as well as efficiency rates for air exchange. Currently, there are no bids or quotes. Street said a paint booth also needs to be replaced, which will be around $100,000. New lockers are also needed, as parts are no longer available for the ones they have that were purchased in 1966. The renovation also includes some bathroom remodeling and asbestos removal.

The total estimated budget, according to Street, is now $4.1 million, which could increase to the point of $5 million, depending on how long it takes to find funding options. Possible sources of funding were discussed were riverboat revenue and borrowing from a financial institution. Eaton recommended hiring the firm Barnes and Thornberg for around $25,000. Eaton said he would prepare a plan with some possible recommendations. A committee has been formed to assist with the recommendations. Committee members include Roberts, Phillipe, Patz, Mehrle, Street, Eaton and Steve Gookins.

Replacement of the air-conditioning chiller was discussed. Street said they are trying to put a band-aid on it to get them through until June, at an estimated cost of $110,000 to $140,000 without the bid process, which could possibly be a lower amount. A motion was made to move forward with getting pricing together via bid process for another chiller. Costs and funding options that are found to be available will be emailed out to members for review once they are received. Street added the current CPF funding formula would be used in the determination.

Street reported that there is still some asbestos in the boiler room and a couple of air-handler rooms. Two walls had to be removed in the front of the building, because the ceiling in the entryway also has asbestos. Street said he has enough funds available to pay for this summer's asbestos removal up front and collect from the participating schools later. Moorhead motioned to move forward with the first phase of asbestos removal, which was seconded by Jones. Phase two will be worked into the budget.

Moorhead addressed the board about funding for instructor training for the Project Lead the Way Engineering Academy Capstone courses to be held at the career center. Moorhead said that all of the schools were represented at the meeting when they discussed starting the Project Lead the Way Academy; however, some schools have not yet sent anyone to participate in the two-week instructor training course. He added that this is still offered to all schools. Currently, 17 students are signed up for the course.

It was agreed upon by all that the 12 attending schools should share in the cost. A motion was made for SCC to go ahead and pay for the instructions up front and invoice schools for their share. Reale made a motion to add a line item for professional development for $10,000 to the 2014 budget year so the subject will not need to be revisited. The motion carried.

Tricia Johnson presented some changes to the career center's student handbook. Johnson explained that the career center no longer does expulsions, but rather recommends removal from SCC and withdraws the student under discipline. Areas affected by the updates were search and seizure, driving permits, cell phone policy, and tobacco possession. Hendrix suggested removing the word "expulsion" from a couple of paragraphs where the wording stated "recommend removal or expulsion," which was unanimously agreed upon.

Trips were approved for two out-of-state, overnight competitions in which career center students will be attending. The first one was for the Skills USA Competition from June 24-29 in Kansas City, Mo. Eight students will represent the career center at the competition. The other was for four nursing students to attend and compete at the HOSA (Health Occupational Students of America) national competition from June 26-30 in Nashville, Tenn.

In additional business, Street presented board members with pictures of Skills, HOSA and BPA state winners, as well as a copy of the most recent career center newsletter. Minutes from the April 10 meeting, as well as the claims/payroll report, also were unanimously approved.

The next meeting will be Thursday, June 13, at 10 a.m. at the Southeastern Career Center.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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