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Bartram and Son store to close soon

Sometime soon, Bartram and Son grocery store will be closed and combined with the Food Fair store that is going to go into the Pick’n Save store building.

Tim Forth, the owner and president of Forth Foods Inc. and Food Fair grocery store, said that it is fluid when Bartram and Son will close and when Food Fair will go into the Ironton Hills Plaza. Food Fair bought Bartram and Son recently and is working with Pick’n Save’s owner Spartan Nash and the store’s landlord to transfer the building to Food Fair.

“Bartram and Forth Food have been very much in it together for a long time,” Forth said. “Steve Bartram was also an investor in two of our stores in Kentucky. And Bartram has been a client of Forth Food for many, many years and ran with the Food Fair program, although they chose to run under it under the Bartram and Son name, they have essentially been a Food Fair for a good while.”

He estimates the two companies have been doing business together for at least three decades.

He said because of the age of the Bartram and Son building, it just made sense to combine the two stores into one.

“We will be able to offer the people of Ironton much, much more services, even more than Pick’n Save does,” Forth said, adding they will be adding things like curbside service, increasing their digital presence with coupons and a phone app, and expanded fruit, vegetable and meat offerings.

“It will take a little time,” Forth said. “But our goal is to give more opportunities for the folks in Ironton and this part of Lawrence County.”

He said once they are in the new store, they will renovate the building with things like better lighting and things like refrigeration systems.

As for when all this will happen, Forth said they are still working on it.

“It will be relatively soon,” he said. “There are still some logistic issues to work out. There is no date yet, but is will be soon.”

Forth was at Bartram and Son on Tuesday morning to talk to the employees about moving to the new store or to one of Food Fair’s other stores, such as Ironton, Coal Grove, South Point or Proctorville in Lawrence County or in Greenup, Flatwoods or Ashland in Kentucky. Forth Food has 16 grocery stores in its operations.

“It is our fervent desire to take everybody,” he said. “Anybody who wants a job, we are going to do everything in our power to place them. We are committed to that. Frankly, employees are hard to come by, especially good, trained employees. We want to take them all.”