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    Former Village Pantry Stores Get New Life

    Family of entrepreneurs reopens closed convenience stores in Muncie, Ind.

    MUNCIE, Ind. -- A group of family entrepreneurs reopened some Muncie convenience stores in an effort to expand their local reach, The Star Press reported.

    Goldy Sandhu recently opened a Hoosier Pete convenience store and gas station in a former Village Pantry site on the city's west side. Sandhu -- along with other family members – also opened a Hoosier Pete in another former Village Pantry site on East Jackson Street a few months ago, and owns and operates Hoosier Pete stores in other locations, including East 29th St.

    "It's picking up slowly, but surely," Sandhu said of the Village Pantry locations, which were cited as "underperforming" by Sun Capital Partners, the Florida investment firm that bought Marsh Supermarkets and the Village Pantry convenience store chain in 2006.

    The Village Pantry at Jackson and Calvert streets closed in June 2008, at the same time as one at University Avenue and Reserve Street. The East Jackson Street Village Pantry closed months earlier, according to The Star Press report.

    Sandhu's family has a background in the convenience store business in New York state, and he said the family's business plan was simple. "We're trying to promote cleanliness and good customer service. We're doing that by having good, clean employees, by having them be nice to customers and having all the products customers need," he explained.

    Customer response has "been good" at the stores, according to Sandhu.

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