Goulds ShurSave – a Sugarloaf staple – a modern, community involved supermarket.
Goulds Supermarket, Inc. opened for business on March 31st, 1971 with 15 employees and 7 aisles. The store measured 10,000 Sq. Ft., and John and Ruth Gould were extremely proud of their creation. John himself acted as the general contractor, giving out individual contracts for such items as the cement work and the refrigeration. All this in the name of saving money. Money was extremely tight, owing to the reduction in the amount which the old “Peoples Bank” was willing to give the Goulds. It was said in the board meeting of the bank that month that this was perhaps the “shakiest” loan ever made.
But, with his experience in the United States Marine Corps., the baking business with Spalding Bakeries, and then in the Gennetti Supermarket chain, John lead his small team to eventual success. Ruth ran the office, and kept the checkbook, even teaching some young ladies how to sweep with a standard broom for the 1st time! Young daughter Debbie (now Debbie Cara, current owner) also helped at the registers as she finished her college work. The store was a member of the IGA system, and lived the “Hometown Proud” motto on its forehead. The motto of “Large enough to SERVE you, but small enough to know you” fit the bill, and continues today.
As the store began to be profitable, the Goulds kept plowing their success back into the store. By March 2003 the building had grown to over 48,000 sq. ft. including the businesses located along the side of the store.
On March 7th of that year, John Gould passed at the wonderful age of 89. Just a few short months later, the most recent addition he had approved was completed, and the small “Mom and Pop” store had finally reached 5 times its original size!
Because of changes in supply chain dynamics, the store was forced to give up its “IGA” name, and is now a member of the ShurSave ad group, based in Northeast Pa. The group is now 27 stores strong, and, due to its size and efficiency, offer some of the BEST weekly specials in the entire area!
In December of 2006 Ruth Gould was called home by God. We all figure John missed her too much, and, besides, he never could pick out a matching outfit without her.
John and Debbie Cara are now following in “Mom and Pop’s” footsteps, and continue to improve the store for customers in the Hazleton area, as well as those on the other side of the Nescopeck. With an all new environmentally friendly frozen food department which joins the systems in Meat and Produce, Goulds is a leader in the northeastern United States in secondary refrigerant systems. Not only do these systems protect the environment with their “small carbon footprints,” but they are designed to keep fresh foods at the peak temperatures. Cold foods are kept cold, and frozen foods are VERY frozen.
Full knowing that good machines alone do not a good shopping experience make, Goulds continues to hire the best and brightest young people we can find, offering them training for life and a pleasant work environment. Friendships made here with supervisors and fellow employees seem to last a lifetime. Ask anyone who worked for us in their youth. With nearly 100 full time and part time associates, you are sure to know someone who works at Goulds.
“Always improving” has become the battle cry of the store, as we continue to invest in the business, using technology to its best – making fast service the key. There are even 2 self-checkouts! And, our link to ShurSave guarantees remarkable weekly specials, and every day low prices on the things needed most Our size guarantees the variety you want.
We know ours, and ours know us. This is how it is with family businesses. We live here, and we intend to make our communities the best they can be. We will raise our children, and our children will raise their children here.
This is the commitment we of Goulds ShurSave make to you: Always Improving!
John and Debbie
Brent, Cathy, Ron, Bob, Beth, and Kenny