15 Jul 2020
Ptacek’s IGA offers customers fresh produce, a full deli, fantastic meat department, baker and everything you would expect from a full-service grocery store. But Ptacek’s is more than a grocery store – they’re an integral part of the community. “Your community owns your store – that’s our approach. They need to feel the reciprocal love,” said Patrick. And they certainly do. Ptacek’s is heavily involved in the community, raising money for important causes and innovating to meet community needs.
The store has raised thousands for Folds of Honor to fund scholarships for children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. One of their most famous fundraising campaigns lasted for several years and culminated in 2015 when they broke the world record for grilling the longest beer brat. Coming in at over 300 feet, the Budweiser brat was grilled by 150 volunteers. Budweiser supported the event by bringing the famous Clydesdales. Over 7,000 people attended the event. When combined with other fundraisers hosted by Ptacek IGA, S125,000 was raised to build a park for the City of Prescott. Clydesdale Park officially opened in June 2015 and features play equipment and a splash pad for kids.
During 2020, they have continued to support the community, but in different ways. “We invested in our online ordering system to ensure that customers could purchase groceries for their family without having to come into the store during COVID-19. Our contactless delivery helped 300 people a week to get groceries in the safest possible environment. Now that things have loosened up a bit we are doing our best to practice safety while respecting everyone’s opinions and personal choices,” said Patrick. They have installed plexiglass and floor decals, increased air circulation and bleach everything throughout the day. They also bought PPE for all employees, but wearing a mask is optional since there is no state mandate to do so.”We are staying calm and doing our best to support our employees and our customers through this challenging time,” he said. Striking the balance of meeting everyone’s needs and supporting the freedom of customers and employees to choose their own stance on PPE is not easy, but Ptacek’s is always willing to listen and Patrick says they are understanding and respectful of each person’s opinion. “We appreciate the support of the community and how understanding our customers are as we try to make the best choices during a difficult time.”
One of the reasons the community supports Ptacek’s is that they take the approach of being responsive to community needs in everything that they do, from their policies to the specialty items they create. As a grocery store, Ptacek’s IGA looks to innovate and create unique products that are difficult to find in a larger chain. For example, for the 4th of July holiday weekend, they sold bacon wrapped jalapeños and cocktail smokies for the grill. Smoked salmon pasta salad, freshly smoked ribs, and chicken bacon cheddar asiago bagel sandwiches are just a few of the tasty treats you can find in the store. Plus, their single serving to-go salads are huge and full of tasty toppings.
Perhaps Ptacek’s is motivated to innovate and support the community through fundraising efforts because they are part of it. That’s the beauty of a locally owned grocery store – the people who own it live here too and so they are invested on a personal level. The Ptacek family has been serving the Prescott community since 1912, starting with a meat market and turning into a full grocery store in 1944. The store has continued to grow and in 1989, Mike Ptacek (third generation store owner) became part of the IGA family. Now, he runs the store along with his six children Kate, Ralp, Pat, Tom, Nick and Rochelle. They are all involved in the family business and have expanded it by opening a coffee kiosk, gas station, and an event hall. Pat Ptacek spoke of how much his family enjoys living in Prescott, “I have an awesome family and we like living in Prescott. With my wife and three beautiful girls, we spend a lot of time outdoors swimming, camping, and having fun. My siblings and I are raising our children here, are invested in the business and will continue to be.” Because they enjoy living here, they want to make it the best community it can be and do so through regular events and fundraising efforts. “We’re in a position where we can help people and we want to do that. We want to remain responsive and support the community however we can,” said Patrick.
Creating Clydesdale Park is just one example of the impact the family has made on the community. The rest of their impact can be found when Prescott families sit down to the dinner table. By providing the freshest produce and highest quality products, the Ptacek family is quietly creating enjoyment for the rest of us and we’re better for it.