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Remodel, New Owner Helps Gittel’s Grocery Serve Coeur d’Alene


Coeur d’Alene sits in the northwestern corner of Idaho, not far from Spokane, Washington. The city is known for water sports on the lake that shares its name, as well as outdoor activities along the vast trails and woods of the Canfield Mountain Natural Area.

Near the intersection of Interstate 90 and U.S. Route 95, just east of the Spokane River’s entrance to Lake Coeur d’Alene, sits Gittel’s Grocery. The small business is primarily a convenience store but does carry grocery essentials for customers such as bread, small amounts of produce and frozen meals. 

The owner, who goes only by JD, purchased Gittel’s in March 2021. The previous owners had allowed the store to fall into disrepair, so JD remodeled and has brought new life to the business.

“The store was very run down. [The previous owners] used to only open like once or twice during the week and only for a few hours,” he said. “It wasn’t a very good business model. I took it over and the community seems to be responding well.”

He had to navigate the supply chain woes during the remodeling and it wasn’t possible to keep the project on schedule. 

“It took almost eight months to get it remodeled,” he said. “We originally were going to get it all done in about four or five months. We kept on waiting months and months for the counters, shelves and everything like that.

“We couldn’t even get the roof done last year because the winter had kicked in. It didn’t get done until around April of this year.”

Despite the hardships, the store found success. 

“We were able to keep the business open during the remodel,” he said. “We just kept expanding our inventory whenever we got the chance…whenever new shelves were getting put it.”

The store is near a residential area. And now that the work has finished, its traffic and resulting business have picked up by about “20 times.”

JD owns two other stores – another grocery/convenience store in Coeur d’Alene and a gas station in Hayden.

 Gittel’s Grocery is by far the largest of the three and the most up to date. But through the variety of stores, JD has gleaned insight into his customers’ spending habits.

“Summer is coming to a close, but I saw a lot of people going for beer, wine, energy drinks, soda, water, fountain drinks, slurpees,” he said. 

“Now that winter is coming, you see a lot more of the hot food stuff getting sold and more cigarettes, e cigarettes and juices. People tend to get away from the cold stuff.”

He hopes his connection to the local community will keep him in business and providing customers what they need.

For more information, visit gittelsfasttrip.com.

To read more market profiles from The Shelby Report, click here.

About the author

Jack R. Jordan

Content Creator

Jordan joined The Shelby Report in May 2022 after over a year in the newspaper industry. A native of Marietta, Georgia, he studied writing and communications at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. He spends too much time in the grocery store trying to find recipe ingredients, so he looks forward to covering the industry.

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