Because  You Asked . . . .

IGA in Big Walnut Plaza, 490 West Cherry Street


In March 1991, the anchor store, Townley IGA, opened in the Big Walnut Plaza at 490 West Cherry Street under the leadership of Marshton Townley and his wife, Betty.  Bill Cain was the manager, Tony Sewell and Gene Simpkins were assistant managers, Gene Wampler head of the meat department, Mary Hopes head of food service, Jerry Henthorne, produce, Dan Griffith headed dairy, Dana Simpkins as office manager and Cindy Meige as electronic media manager.

The new store had added a soda fountain, bakery and a deli.  The fresh fruit and vegetable area was expanded.  Again the fresh cut meats were featured.  800 people attended the Big Walnut Chamber of Commerce sneak preview and 2276 transaction at the registers on Sunday.  All together 10,000 people went through the store on opening weekend.

Through the years Marshton and Betty have been strong supporters of the community.  They made discounts available to non-profit groups, helped youth groups and were big backers of the 4-H groups through the Delaware County Fair.  In 1995 they made  IGA Classmates Power coupon books available so shoppers could earn money for the schools. 

In May 2001, the store was nationally recognized for the third time when is made the IGA Five Star Rating.  This made the Sunbury store one of the top 10 among the 1,700 IGA supermarkets nationwide.  

Photos of Big Walnut Plaza IGA-2004.JPG (71340 bytes)

Groundbreaking 7-1990

Construction Moving
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Gene Wampler, Meat Department

Townley in Produce

Townley at soda Fountain

Townley with special cart for Gene Sparks

Manager, Bill Cain stocking shelves

Other Big Walnut Plaza Stores were Classic Family Video, Stork Exchange, Shaw PharmacyDelaware County Bank, Neon Salon and Subway.
Townley IGA Closes after 56 Years 

Greedy developers have constantly threatened to bring bigger supermarket chains into our town.  Of course they want the zoning laws amended to fit their needs rather than looking at how they can serve the community.

Business has dropped for the store with the completion of super stores within 12-15 miles.  The Sunbury store was no longer seeing enough traffic to keep it open.  After trying unsuccessfully to locate a buyer so he could retire, Marshton was forced to close the store March 19, 2004.  His 50 employees are without work and the community is without a good store for the first time since 1947.


The Columbus Dispatch
The History of IGA in Big Walnut Plaza ran in The Sunbury News in a different format than seen here.  It was combined with the history of the Townley-Main Locker Plant

. . . .And Now You Know
by Polly Horn


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(04/28/2006 )

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