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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Snowfall brings blizzard of business to grocery stores

Thursday, December 27, 2012

(Photo)
As Kroger clerk Sharon Elmore bags a couple half-gallons of milk, cashier Shelby Sanders continues ringing up Phillip Rumley's groceries Wednesday morning during the blizzard of business at the grocery store.
Just mention winter storm, and the gut reaction of most Hoosiers is to head straight for the grocery store.

Under threat of ice and snow and wind and cold, it seems the longstanding recipe for making it through a winter storm involves milk, eggs, bread and bacon.

"But that's not what they were buying," Greencastle Kroger cashier Thelma Souders noted Wednesday as Putnam County remained under a blizzard warning.

The Greencastle Kroger store was scheduled to reopen following the Christmas holiday at 7 a.m. Wednesday but unlocked its doors at least 30 minutes early because of the number of customers already waiting outside.

The blizzard of early business, however, wasn't as much about the staples of bread and milk as it was the joys of snack foods and party drinks.

Beer, pop, snacks and cigarettes were among the most popular items in Kroger carts early Wednesday as cashiers reported being "very, very busy."

Customers reportedly even tried to buy wine when the store opened at 6:30 a.m., but alcohol cannot legally be sold until 7 a.m.

By 10:30, the major morning rush had ended. Milk was still plentiful. Bread was still available. And not even all the doughnuts had been gobbled up.

Reinforcements were on the way as well. A perishables truck, presumably loaded with milk and eggs and the like, was due by Thursday morning from Shelbyville. That was assuming trucks could make their way out of Shelbyville, reportedly one of the hardest-hit areas in the path of the Blizzard of 2012.

Meanwhile, back at the Kroger checkout line, Mark White and Phillip Rumley of Cloverdale, dressed in matching camo jackets, nonetheless stood out in the queue with several bottles of whole milk among their prey.

Cashier Shelby Sanders cheerfully rang them up as Sharon Elmore bagged the milk and snacks, along with requisite wintry-day food staples.

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Entering her PIN number, Nikki Gilbert of Coatesville pays for her groceries during the morning rush at the Greencastle Kroger Wednesday as customer Monica Bray of Bainbridge awaits her turn and cashier Sharon Elmore begins bagging the order.
Soon thereafter, Nikki Gilbert of Coatesville and friend Monica Bray of Bainbridge filed through the same checkout line.

"I didn't prepare for the storm," Gilbert sighed as the cashier rang up cans of tomato juice, Mountain Dew and a couple boxes of doughnuts among other goodies.

But as a zumba fitness instructor, Gilbert said she canceled her classes for the day, taking advantage of the time off Wednesday morning to head to the grocery store to stock up for a day to huddle up at home.

"You can't be snowed in and not have any food," Gilbert assured.

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Salting the sidewalk in front of the entry to the Greencastle Kroger store, William Huff makes certain customers are assured of secure footing while coming and going on a snowy winter day.
That certainly was the prevailing notion Wednesday at Kroger and probably every other grocery store in the Hoosier State.



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