By LOU WILIN
ARLINGTON — Dollar General has replaced the former Appleseed IGA grocery at the Vail Street building in Arlington, and it has a steady flow of happy customers.
A fixture of Arlington with roots going back to 1907, Appleseed IGA closed last summer. That brought a collective sense of dismay in southern Hancock County. The beloved IGA doughnuts were gone. No one knew what — if anything — would replace the grocery store. A Dollar General reportedly was not the most-hoped-for suitor among some village residents.
But it’s all worked out.
First, the doughnuts returned just a couple of blocks to the south at Curly’s Pizza & Drive-Thru, on Main Street.
Yes, they are the real deal IGA doughnuts. Curly’s bought IGA’s doughnut-making equipment and it uses the same ingredients from the same supplier.
Now, Dollar General has opened in the former IGA space.
“It’s gorgeous,” Michelle Hartman, of Arlington, said while carrying out a bag of goods she just bought.
“We needed it. Everybody was all worried when the grocery store was going out. It’s awesome that they came in,” Hartman said. “They have such a nice grocery area, too. There’s freezers and everything that most (Dollar General stores) don’t have.”
“And it’s a reasonable price. You’re not paying $4 a gallon” for milk, she said. “Awesome prices and the help here is wonderful. Very friendly. They bend over backwards to help you find whatever you want.”
Some shoppers lamented that Dollar General does not offer fresh meat and produce like the old Appleseed IGA grocery.
“I have to go to Mount Blanchard now for fresh meat,” said Charlotte Kain, of Houcktown.
Most Dollar General shoppers said they drive to Findlay to buy meat and fresh produce.
But Dollar General is convenient for odds and ends.
“When the IGA left and before the Dollar General came in, you’d have to go to Findlay for just about anything,” Max Hosafros, an Arlington area resident, said as he walked into the store. “But this is handy. Now we ran out of cat food. So that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m getting a bag of cat food.”
The nearby store is indeed convenient for necessities like milk, bread, Christmas cards and, as one shopper noted, “toilet paper.”
An Arlington Good Samaritan Center employee who commutes from the Carey-Vanlue area said Arlington’s Dollar General surpasses the one in Carey.
“Love it,” said Cheryl Mulvain, who shops at the Dollar General three times a week. “It’s always clean. You never see litter, cigarette butts, things like that.”
The Arlington Dollar General is better all the way around.
“They are very kind and friendly and well-organized,” Mulvain said. “The aisles are wider here than what they are, like at the one in Carey, it’s hard to get down (aisles) with your cart.”
Wilin: 419-427-8413 Send an E-mail to Lou Wilin