Ready to make the move

Manager for Town and Country Foods crazy about Lewistown
By 
DEB HILL
News-Argus Managing Editor
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
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Soon-to-be Lewistown Town and Country Foods Store Manager Bridget Demaline (center) takes a break from working at the Bozeman store for a photo with James Roth (left) and Dan Cahill (right), who will be assistant store managers at the Lewistown store.

Photo courtesy of Town and Country Foods

Bridget Demaline is moving to Lewistown, and boy, is she excited. Demaline is the store manager for Town and Country Foods’ newest market on the west side of Lewistown, planned to open in June. Demaline said she is happy to move to a smaller town than Bozeman, where she lives now.

“I’ve been visiting Lewistown, looking at houses,” Demaline said. “I’m moving up there the last week of March, along with my boyfriend, who also works for Town and Country. I’m hoping to buy a house. We tell everyone how great the town is. Everyone in town has been amazing.”

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Demaline fell in love with Montana after college when she took a train trip with her grandmother to Glacier National Park. 

“I ended up getting a job outside of Glacier for a while,” Demaline said. “Then I went back to Ohio but I missed Montana, I missed seeing the mountains.”

Love of the state drew her back to Bozeman in 2008, where she began her career with Town and Country Foods, an employee-owned company.

“With it being employee-owned, instead of the traditional 401K, after an employee has been with Town and Country for three years they are 100 percent vested in the company. It’s set up like a stock option. A percentage of the profit goes to the employees and a percentage goes back into the stores,” Demaline explained.

Currently there are five Town and Country markets in Montana – Livingston, Belgrade, Dillon and two in Bozeman. The Lewistown store will be number six.

About 11 employees are making the move from Bozeman to Lewistown, including Demaline. 

“We have the meat front end manager, the bakery and deli manager, the night crew manager and some of the night crew coming. They are all excited about moving to Lewistown,” Demaline said.

While hoping for a soft opening around the first week of June, Demaline said her job between now and then is to make sure the final construction goes well and to hire the rest of the necessary employees.

“The concrete floors are being polished right now, the walls are up and the coolers are going in. We are on track for a June opening, but we won’t open until we are ready,” Demaline said.

In addition to standard grocery store items, the Lewistown store will have a service deli and bakery, meat case, packaged produce and other convenience items.

“We’ll have salads, meats and cheeses at the deli, and you can order sandwiches,” Demaline said. “We have a spot for a coffee bar, or maybe a juice bar, but we haven’t decided which it will be quite yet.”

Running a grocery store takes a lot of workers, both full and part time. At this point, Demaline said the plan is to hire 30 to 40 people, in addition to those who are moving up from Bozeman.

“I know about the local workforce shortage,” she said. “I’ve been working with the Job Service to see who they can find for us. Until the store opens, I’ll be reviewing applicants. The positions are currently listed on the Job Service site and I’m hopeful we can find the people we need.”

Meanwhile, Demaline said she is grateful for the warm reception she’s received from area residents.

“A welcoming committee [from the Port Authority] came to Bozeman to tell us all about the area, how fantastic the medical center is, about the newspaper and just good information about moving there,” she said. “We all want this to go smoothly, and I think it will. I can’t wait.”

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