Home » Buehler’s Fresh Foods Continues To Address Supply Chain Issues

Buehler’s Fresh Foods Continues To Address Supply Chain Issues


Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 10:57 am

Like many grocers across the country, Wooster, Ohio-based Buehler’s Fresh Foods continues to work its way around supply chain hurdles. 

Mike Davidson

“I’ve never seen such a challenged supply chain. But I would tell you that in our company’s perspective, I applaud our merchants…they’re acting as advocates for the customer,” said Mike Davidson, president and CEO.

Davidson was promoted to his role in January. He succeeded Dan Shanahan, who announced his retirement in early November. Davidson previously served as EVP of sales and marketing.

Buehler’s operates 14 supermarkets, seven liquor agencies, outside catering, coffee shops and a food truck named Ferris. Seeking alternate suppliers is one solution the company continues to pursue.  

“We have to be an advocate of our customer. The merchants and the operators have done a great job doing that,” Davidson said. “We’re using alternative suppliers. We have a warehouse here, so we have the ability to able to build surplus in that warehouse. We might not have Welch’s grape juice sometimes, but we certainly have a grape juice on our shelves.”

According to Davidson, Buehler’s is working with SKU rationalization and analyzing NielsenIQ data to prepare for what is ahead. “We can sit back and accept a 50 percent service level, or we can do something about it,” he said.


Planned renovations

Last year, Davidson said Buehler’s started thinking more about its growth, with its 14th store opening in November. The company has a remodeling strategy set to begin at several key stores in May.

“In the next 12 months, we expect to have two of them done and then over the next five years most of our stores will be remodeled. [We are] invested in updating our stores,” he said. 

Davidson didn’t reveal many details but did say that new and improved customer offerings will be added. 


E-commerce continues to be a good category for Buehler’s. “And we continue to make improvements to our operations or website, as well as added additional features. So that’s continuing to be a good win for us,” Davidson said. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had about five stores running click and collect and were moving cautiously to add more. 

“There was always the question of profitability…once the pandemic hit, we very quickly in 2020 added all our stores basically on it,” Davidson said. 

During 2020, demand for online orders was “amazing,” and 2021 numbers pulled back some, though still busy. 

“We were able to go back in and become more efficient in the processes we’re doing to execute online orders for stores,” Davidson explained. 

“At one point, it was probably a competitive advantage if you were doing online shopping…but now what I would say is it’s a competitive disadvantage if you’re not doing it.”


Food truck 

Buehler’s covers a lot of ground by also having the food truck, which can help with catering events. 

It travels to different market locations and stays busy in the summertime with graduations, weddings and communions. “We do a lot of things with it. It’s a lot of fun,” Davidson said. 

Looking ahead

Although there will be ongoing challenges for the foreseeable future, customer count is up at Buelhler’s and other factors have encouraged Davidson.

“We also think that people have some of the behavior that they’ve learned over the pandemic – the Millennials cooking, visiting our stores – that’s all good news,” he said. “So that gap between food at home versus food away from home has changed. And in 2020, it really spread. In 2021 it came closer together, and then went back out again, but still favorable to a supermarket at this point in time.” 

For more information, visit buehlers.com.

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