Nelsons make bid for store

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2003

The windows at Rainbow Foods in Albert Lea are papered in white. The lot in front of it is empty. Inside, before the doors closed, the shelves were eerily void of food.

The bankruptcy of Fleming Foods in April forced the store to close Tuesday.

But a strong bid from a former local store owner might make for a faster than expected re-opening.

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Chris Nelson &045; who, along with other family members, owns the building &045; is putting a bid in to take ownership of the store.

&uot;We can’t take over the building yet,&uot; Nelson said. &uot;Because Rainbow has continued to pay the rent.&uot;

While the Nelsons have ownership of the building, they need to purchase the equipment for the store to take over.

&uot;They are selling their freezers, all the cases, shelves, computers; the whole equipment package is owned by Fleming,&uot; he said.

Nelson said the bidding process will close on July 15, but he has hopes that things might progress faster than that.

&uot;We have been working very hard at purchasing the equipment,&uot; he said. &uot;I think that will come to fruition. To be quite honest, I hope we can purchase the equipment prior to that date.&uot;

The Nelson family owned and operated the grocery store as Nelson’s County Market prior to Rainbow but sold the store because the company made a strong offer.

Taking the reins back is now a possibility, and Nelson thinks it’s a strong one.

&uot;I feel confident we will open that store as a Nelson Foods in the near future,&uot; he said.

If they are successful in pursuing the equipment prior to the bidding, the new grocery story could be up and running very soon.

&uot;Once we purchase that equipment, it would probably be a couple of weeks from then if we opened,&uot; he said.