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Former Orangeville store being re-purposed
New Orangeville shop lives in the past

ORANGEVILLE — After Orangeville, population about 740, lost its one and only grocery store in 2020, the dormant space is back in business — but as a store of a different kind.

The former — and very popular with the locals — Richland Creek Foods store downtown has become a resale shop, according to longtime owner and proprietor Norman “Norm” Aurand, 70. He had operated the little store — known for its good meat and deli selections — for more than 20 years. He also continues to live in the apartment above the shop.

“I was retired but I got bored,” he said. “So, I decided to do this. It helps to keep me busy and I really do enjoy it.”

It worked out he said, because there was a small-scale resale shop next-door to his that was closing. So he took on the remaining inventory from that now-shuttered store and incorporated it with things he’s found on his own. Aurand said it is still a work in progress, as he is still fitting the place out with shelves and fixtures.

The store specializes in household goods, antiques and collectibles he said, noting that dishware and knick-knacks are good sellers.

“I find a lot of the things on my own. I go to garage sales a lot myself and find a lot of neat items. You’ll never know what you will find that people are trying to get rid of,’’ he said. “People also bring me things and I pay them a little if I think they will sell.” 

The inventory varies depending on what’s available. For example, on Monday, Aurand said he got a “really neat” antique doll buggy from his aunt and put it up for sale in the shop. He’s even got a free section “for things I don’t think I could really sell that probably have some good life left in them.”

The store has limited hours, in keeping with Aurand’s desire to work only part-time — these days its open from 1 to 7 p.m. Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m on Saturday. He may expand hours as the need arises and closer to Christmas, he said. 

People still ask about the grocery store, Aurand said. But in December 2020, he hung up his grocery apron and put away his butcher knives for good — he said the store simply couldn’t survive in an era of high-volume, mammoth grocery stores. 

Aurand, originally from the Lena-Winslow area, has worked at several local grocery stores including Pick N Save in Monroe. He attended a meat cutting school in Toledo, Ohio, where he learned the meat-cutting trade; and it was always his dream to be able to have a business of his own. 

In Orangeville, he purchased the building 23 years ago from LaVerne Schindler, who owned the grocery store for the previous 30 years, Aurand said.