GROCERY STORE OWNERS END 25-YEAR RUN

October 08, 2002 11:00 pm
Dean Norden is retiring from the grocery business. Norden and his wife Lou will continue to reside in Enterprise. Ron Goebel and Mike Goss, both of Wallowa, have purchased Enterprise Food City. Goss will manage the store. (The Observer/Gary Fletcher).
Dean Norden is retiring from the grocery business. Norden and his wife Lou will continue to reside in Enterprise. Ron Goebel and Mike Goss, both of Wallowa, have purchased Enterprise Food City. Goss will manage the store. (The Observer/Gary Fletcher).

ENTERPRISE — "It's been a good run — a lot of fun," Dean Norden said about owning and operating the Enterprise Food City grocery store the last 25 years.

"We're going to miss the people," he said about the relationships he and his wife Lou developed with the community during their many long hours of operation.

Lou didn't always work side by side all day with Dean. She was busy at their Spokane home raising their two children, while Dean was employed in the grocery business.

The Nordens were looking to buy their own store when Food City, built in the mid-1960s, came on the market. Their son, Don, was grown and their daughter, Shelly, in high school. So, the time seemed right and Enterprise looked like a good place to live.

The Nordens are retiring but plan to continue to live in Enterprise. Now, rather than being busy serving tourists who come to the area, the Nordens hope to have time to explore the area themselves. They also plan to travel to see other parts of the Northwest.

Merchants to the end, however, they are still very busy running a 20 percent storewide sale. Merchandise needs to be cleared out because the new owners plan to refurbish the store.

The Nordens plan to close by Oct. 19. About four to six weeks after that the grocery store will reopen.

The partners who purchased the store are Ron Goebel and Mike Goss, both of Wallowa. Goss will manage the store. He previously operated the Wallowa Food City, then managed La Grande's Shop-N-Kart before moving to Alaska to manage stores in Homer, Kotzebue and Nome.

Goebel and his father, Harold, operated the Texaco gas station and convenience store in Wallowa for 21 years. Seven years ago they turned it over to other family members. Since then Ron has operated the Glacier Lake Ice Co. in Wallowa.