Lunchmeat, hot dogs, eggs, cheese, butter, and similar items will be unavailable at Carlsons’ Grocery in Marion for a day or two in mid-October, while the store installs new refrigeration cases.
“Hopefully we won’t be torn up for too long,” co-owner Linda Carlson said Friday.
The open lunchmeat and dairy cases will be replaced, Carlson said. The store received an $11,050 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for 25 percent of the cost of purchase and installation of the new cases.
“We have some older cases that we wanted to replace,” she said.
She estimated the current refrigeration cases are 25 to 30 years old. The new cases will have doors and be more energy efficient. She didn’t say how much energy they are expected to save, but the grant requires an energy audit.
They will also have some benefits for customers, Carlson said. Because the cases will be enclosed, the area around them won’t be as cold as it is now.
“Plus, they’ll have a little more room so we’ll be able to provide more options in those areas,” she said.
No decisions have been made on what to add with the extra space.
The expected delivery date for the new cases is Oct. 11, Carlson said. Installation is supposed to be a two-day process — one day for each case.
“I’ll be glad when they get here,” employee Larry Magathan said Friday while organizing the lunchmeat case.
The open cases waste a tremendous amount of energy, he said. The cold air they produce washes over the items in the cooler, then disappears into the rest of the store.
This isn’t the first time Carlsons’ has used grants to update equipment. In 2007, the store replaced its “coffin freezers” with vertical freezers with doors, Carlson said. That change also gave the store about 40 percent more freezer room, but the new cases won’t add that much space.
Groceries kept in the coolers to be replaced include lunchmeat, hot dogs, bratwurst, summer sausage, bacon, butter, margarine, cheese, eggs, biscuits, cookie dough, pudding cups, and other items.