In 1974, Ed and Helen Lauer opened the first Lauer’s Supermarket with the dream of creating a community-based and family-run store with exceptional customer service.
After Lauer’s reached 45 years of serving Pasadena, their daughters, Bernie Snoops and Babbie Poyer, announced in September that they were selling both Lauer’s locations.
The first location was originally a Super Thrift grocery store at the intersection of Mountain and Tick Neck roads. In 1982, Ed and Helen bought the ACME Supermarket in Riviera Beach and opened a second location. The original store was relocated to the current Chesterfield location in 1998.
In 2006, Snoops and Poyer bought both locations from their parents and have maintained the same community values.
“The community is the people, and so many of them have become like extended family to us,” Poyer said.
Lauer’s has certainly made the community feel like family with their constant support over the years.
Through the Lauer’s Learning Ladder, a program started in 1992 to benefit local schools, Lauer’s raised over $1 million and donated $40,000 to schools annually.
“Another favorite event was the Caring and Sharing Community Harvest Parade sponsored by the Pasadena Business Association,” Poyer said. Lauer’s matched donations and sold food bags to raise money for local food banks.
Lauer’s also donated to community groups, veterans, volunteer fire departments, churches, sports teams, scouts and more on a daily basis.
Joe Millsap, brother-in-law of Snoops and Poyer and a 29-year employee of Lauer’s, said his favorite memory is the charity dance put on by a group of employees over 15 years ago, when the grocery manger was diagnosed with cancer. The $10,000 raised went into a scholarship for his two children.
In addition to having outstanding customer service, Lauer’s has been a great first job for many high school students, as well as a great place to work long-term.
“It hurts my heart that they’re closing. I’ve been here for so long and [we’ve] been through so much,” said Kim Getty, who has been with Lauer’s for 29 years.
Getty has worked at both locations and in many positions over the years. Both of her children also worked for Lauer’s and met their spouses at the store.
Lauer’s is the only company that John Prager has ever worked for, and he had the pleasure of working with Ed and Helen.
“They’re a great family and it’s a good place to work,” said Prager, who has worked at the Riviera Beach location for 36 years. “I love coming here. You don’t find too many places where you can go to work and enjoy it.”
Wade Johnson has enjoyed working at the Rivera Beach location for 15 years.
“You can’t find better people to work for, you really can’t,” Johnson said. “I came here 15 years ago, cleaning toilets. Now I’m meat manager. These people have looked out for me from day one, and I just love working for them.”
Karen Huelskamp was new to Pasadena when she walked into Lauer’s six months ago.
“I walked into Lauer’s and wasn’t thinking I was getting a job, but it was so cool here, so spacious and clean,” she said. “I had a [Master of Business Administration] degree. I was retired, but I decided to come back to work, and I picked here because it’s such a family-friendly environment.”
Pasadena will miss the community support, the homemade salads in the deli, the smiling faces during the meat sale, and the exceptional customer service.
“They deserve to retire,” said Getty. “They’ve worked hard. It’s emotional, but it’s exciting for them.”
Snoops and Poyer are not sure where exactly the future will take them just yet, but Poyer is sure it “will include travel, catching up with friends and volunteering.”
As Pasadena says goodbye to Lauer’s, Snoops and Poyer leave behind a legacy that would make Ed and Helen proud.
The Riviera Beach location will become Geresbeck’s Food Market. On October 3, the Chesterfield store re-opened as Green Valley Marketplace, which will still operate the Lauer’s Bakery. Both locations are still family-owned supermarkets.