Submitted ERIE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in the mood for a lazy Saturday morning only to discover you’re out of eggs? Out of coffee? Out of bacon? The travesty! Thanks to the new drive through at Dave’s Park Avery in Milan this problem can now be solved (and no one will tell if you want to keep those PJs on in the process). The Fisher family, owners of Dave’s, loves being able to make your life just a little bit easier whether it’s providing the breakfast essentials or a prepared meal after a long day. The best part? Drive-through access for those with little kids, mobility issues, or a puppy who doesn’t want to be left home alone (like June – Makenna Fisher’s golden retriever who’s been known to join on an errand or two).
The Fishers are now second and third generation owner-operators of their convenience store chain with locations in Norwalk and Milan, Ohio. Sometime this month, you’ll witness a magic show at the corner of U.S. 250 and Mason Rd. as the old Dave’s Park Avery comes down to reveal a brand new $1.2 million location – The new building has been under construction for the last 9 months
at the south end of the property allowing the company to operate as usual in the old building which will be demolished in just 3 days. The new 5,280-square-foot building has much to offer local customers and travelers off the Ohio Turnpike with more than two times the space for product variety and feature stations like a coffee bar, hand dipped ice cream, a full-service grill for fresh breakfast sandwiches, and a walk-in beer cooler. But this strategic investment also has regional
impact because the Fishers can now expand their commercial food operation.
Freshly prepared, family recipes are what bring customers from across the region to Dave’s convenience stores, but the small footprint of the Avery store had prevented the location from fully participating. Even with carrying a smaller product line in comparison to a Norwalk location, Joe Fisher, would field frequent calls that Avery had run out of food. The store will fly through 2,000 lbs of
fresh fried chicken and 500 lbs of “jojos” potato wedges a week. But the scaled up commercial kitchen at the new facility has Julie Fisher Guerrier, lead family chef, dusting off old recipes to offer for popular daily specials, cold take home dishes customers can reheat, deli sandwiches, salads, and made from scratch soups. You may not know it, but you may already be enjoying Julie’s creations,
her sandwiches and salads, at other regional stores through the company’s wholesale business, which thankfully now has room for growth at the Avery location. Specials between Dave’s stores do vary, so be sure to visit the local store’s Facebook to stay in the know.
Good food and good service can be hard to keep up with as a business grows like Dave’s, but the family’s been pleased to welcome home the third generation for an extra set of hands. Joe’s son, Jack, has joined the team to manage the beverage category and his daughter, Makenna, to support human resources and marketing. Julie and long-time employee Cari Johnson are responsible for all fresh foods, and Julie’s daughter Kelsi, while only 14, assists with summer stocking. Plus Joe’s sister, Jeanne, and family matriarch, Phil, are always available to lend an extra hand or help with business decisions. The family also credits a team of 34 loyal employees for their continued success. And with this latest investment, Joe expects to be hiring another 12.
The Fisher family is already devising a phase two to its major expansion, which will likely include a few additional fuel pumps so every inch of their well-connected lot is utilized. Phase one of the project has allowed for improved safety and access points to the lot, which is centered between busy intersections. It’s this improvement and brand-new bathrooms (the simple things), the Fisher family are most excited for. We’re sure there’s more big things to come from this small family business in the future.