When the L&L Food Center on the corner of Saginaw and Waverly closed in late 2010, Lansing’s West Side lost a vital neighborhood resource. Two weeks ago, Valu Land opened in that location, creating 35 new jobs and filling the area’s need for a centralized grocery store that was big enough to be considered a one-stop-shop, yet small enough not to get lost inside.
“Our concept is to offer national name brand and Spartan brand products at the lowest possible costs,” said Valu Land store manager Aurda LaDronka. “We want to give the community a wide variety of options when it comes to grocery shopping.”
Valu Land is an arm of Spartan Stores, a Grand Rapids-based wholesale distributor to more than 375 independent grocery locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. They feature Spartan items, which, on average cost 20 percent less than their national counterparts, as well as a selection of deeper-discount food products from the ValuTime label. LaDronka says that Valu Land has two ongoing specials: the daily “10 for $10” and the “Unmatchable Savings” sales. The former is self-explanatory, with this week’s featured items including cookies, cereal and candy bars. The latter is a little more fun.
“We send someone out to go look at prices at other stores, and if, say, someone has bananas cheaper than 43 cents (per pound), we lower our prices,“ LaDronka said. “Every day we have 14 items that we guarantee will have the lowest price around.”
LaDronka flipped through Valu Land’s most recent biweekly flier and pointed out some items such as chicken breasts and milk, which had been marked down since the flyer was printed because a nearby competitor had a lower price. LaDronka says that later this spring the store will have a promotion called Michigan’s Best, featuring clearly identified Michigan goods at discount prices. Valu Land has locations in Leslie, Marion and Clare, which are among the 96 retail supermarkets throughout Michigan that are owned and operated by Spartan Stores.
“This is the fourth store in the new format, and the first to be designed from the ground up,” LaDronka said, “and so far, the response has been great. People keep stopping us to say how glad they are that we’re here, how much they like the store, how exciting it is to see something on this corner. And it’s a real joy to see that enthusiasm — you don’t see that every day.”
3800 W. Saginaw St., Lansing
8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily