Local Italian grocery calls Willowick “home” for 46 years

Alfredo Guerrieri, owner of Alesci's

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Paolo Guerreri, manager, Alesci’s of Shoregate)

Alesci’s of Willowick started back in 1972 when my father, Alfredo Guerrieri and my uncle, Antonio Guerrieri, bought the franchise rights off the Alesci’s of South Euclid guys. They both worked at other Alesci’s stores, and that’s where they got their experience and their drive to open their own store. I believe there were six other Alesci’s stores, and the idea of owning their own business was a lifetime dream of theirs.

They liked the idea of Shoregate in Willowick because the location was between former two big retail giants of Jotes (currently Marcs) and Pick-N-Pay (then Reider’s Stop-N-Shop and currently Giant Eagle) with plenty of parking and located on a main road.

Except for cigarettes, we sell almost everything that you would find in a regular grocery store or convenience store. What separates us from most stores is our deli and cheese section, as well as our hot food counter and our bakery. We make all of our bread, rolls and pizza dough from scratch every day in our bakery.

Alesci's deli Alesci's bakery

We haven’t changed much over the years. We’re old school. The original owners are still here and work part-time every day. We still use pen and paper to take all orders, and there is no laptop in the store. We have a Facebook page but no website.

We hire people who have experience, and we also hire folks with zero experience and train them. We hire people with criminal records because we believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Between part-time and full-time employees, we have around 25 people here.

We donate gift cards and gift baskets, cash and food to different members of the community and to benefits in the community several times per week.

The biggest challenge we currently face is the online world because the owners don’t know that world, and they don’t want to know that world; so, we can’t sell anything online. And our rent is almost $10,000.00 per month, which might prevent us from renewing our lease in seven years.

I’m not sure if we would just close up shop or move in seven years, but for sure we will not be at this location, which is a shame considering that we have paid rent on time for 46 plus years. I’m not sure what Shoregate’s future holds since there are empty stores and half of the land was sold to build an urgent care, liquor store, bank, and houses.

I’m inspired by tradition. I have worked here since I was eight years old. It’s all I’ve ever done; it’s all I know. I love the people, the hours, and the work. It’s very fulfilling and satisfying.

I don’t think people realize that the owners are almost 80 years old, that the managers put in 70 hours per week, and that someone is always here 24/7 cooking, baking or cleaning. And that the bread and pizza dough are made from scratch EVERY DAY!!! We have been in business for 46 years; so, we must be doing something right.

Even when I am not at the store, whether at home with family, out with friends or on vacation, I am always thinking about the store. I just can’t help it. I may not be the owner, but I treat the place like I am the owner.

Alesci's of Willowick at Shoregate

Get to Know HGR’s Bob Eucker

HGR's Bob EuckerWhat is your job title?                   

Pricer/bidder

What are your job responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?   

I evaluate and give values on equipment that the buyers are looking to purchase, as well as pricing equipment that arrives at HGR.

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?   

The ability to research product and a good memory

What background or prior work experiences do you bring to the table?    

Ten years in sales

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

For 19 years because it’s a solid company to work for.

What can you tell us about your family?     

I’ve been married for 21 years and have two boys who are 18 and 14 years old.

What is the most important thing in the world to you/what matters most? 

My family

Local manufacturer supplies jigs and hardware to nonprofit that builds beds for kids

Josh Smith of Beverage Machine building beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Josh Smith on the right

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joshua Smith, waterjet technician, Beverage Machine & Fabricators, Inc.)

I’ve recently became involved in something, and I thought HGR’s customers might be interested in this story. To make a short story long, a buddy of mine recently stumbled onto a company based in Idaho called Sleep in Heavenly Peace. It’s a non-profit that builds beds for kids who are sleeping on floors.

After seeing such a great need in Lorain County, he flew to Idaho and became certified to start a chapter in Elyria. A few weeks ago, we had our first “build day,” and before we were done The Chronicle-Telegram showed up and did a huge article. Within the week, two news stations had aired pieces about what we are doing, and he’s still trying to get the word out as much as possible.

Here’s where the manufacturing comes in. The company supplies jigs and hardware for making the beds to each chapter; so, when a group of volunteers shows up, it can mass-produce beds with very little skill or experience. Since everything has to be shipped from Idaho, we thought it would be quicker and faster to make it here.

Beverage Machine’s owner, John, said that he would love to get involved; so, I talked to the Sleep in Heavenly Peace founder, and he agreed to let us supply the construction jigs, etc. to the East Coast.

We had our second build day on Sept. 29. It’s a need that I never realized existed and seems like a worthy cause.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Lorain County

Community Leaders Breakfast

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2018 flyer

The Euclid Chamber of Commerce presents the Annual Community Leaders Breakfast, featuring speakers Euclid City Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and new Euclid Schools Superintendent Marvin Jones.

Enjoy breakfast in the Lincoln Electric Welding Technology & Training Center, the newly constructed 130,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to training educators, industry leaders and skilled trade workers in the craft and science of welding.

Venue Lincoln Electric Welding Technology & Training Center
Address 22800 St. Clair Avenue
Euclid OH 44117
Starts Thursday, Oct. 18 2018, 8:30 a.m. EDT

Register here.

Get to Know HGR’s Jim Profitt

HGR Industrial Surplus Jim Profitt

 

What is your job title?

I am a second-shift receiving expeditor.

What are your job responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

I am a multi-department forklift operator. As an expeditor my duties can include:

  • Offload and set up of daily inventory
  • Move merchandise to either a direct location on the showroom floor or stage in new arrivals until space is available
  • Assist the showroom with pulling orders for trucks, containers, prep for shipping, and prep and load for customers picking up
  • Remove merchandise for scrap or move to storage

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?

Patience, good communication skills, quick problem-solving techniques and a strong foundation for hard work

What background or prior work experience do you bring to the table?

I was a former supervisor at O’Hare Airport; so, I’m used to the rush. I’ve worked in the construction industry and have operated large machinery.

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

I am going on seven years and enjoy my HGR family. The comradery is what makes you feel like you belong.

What amazing things are you doing in your personal life?

I keep it simple — date night with my wife.

What can you tell us about your family?

I am the proud father of a menagerie of fur babies and three children who have caused my hair to gray — Abby, James III and Becky. I am lucky to be married to my wife, Debi, who still loves me even though I’m not sure why.

What is the most important thing in the world to you/what matters most?

My family is my heart.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Rick Affrica

HGR Buyer Rick Affrica and family

When did you start with HGR, and why?

I started with HGR back when it all began – 1997.  I was presented with an offer to leave the company that I had been working with (along with 11 others) and be part of something new – something great.  So, I started with HGR, and we “Hit the Ground Running.”

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

I do not have a territory.  My territory consists of anyone/anywhere who has surplus to sell!  I help manage the procurement of all that we sell.  What I do is twofold.  First, I manage seven of our regional buyers.  I work with them daily on making sure we get everything out of opportunities that are presented to our company.  The second part of what I do is to build and maintain relationships with larger corporations that continually have surplus equipment/material that they need to move.

What do you like most about your job?

It may sound cliché, but each day is different in that each opportunity we work on is different.  Every deal we work on has its challenges and issues that need to be resolved.  My job is to figure out options and look for ways we can achieve the goals of not only HGR, but that of our customer, as well.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Working remotely with each of our buyers and our consignment partners.  Technology has certainly helped with managing and making things much easier to review.  The challenge is working remotely and not seeing firsthand what exactly the issues are that need to be resolved.  The best way to overcome this challenge is to jump in the car or on a plane and go meet personally to help overcome the challenge.  Travel, in and of itself, can be a challenge.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

This is a loaded question.  Probably best to keep this to a conversation over a beer after hours one day.  Keep in mind, I work with the Buy Group.  It is made up of a cast of characters.  There are some interesting stories to tell!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

All things related to my family. I am very lucky in that I have a great wife and awesome kids.  As my kids have gotten older, my wife and I realize that we need to do whatever we can with the time we have and enjoy our time together.  With my schedule, I do miss out on things.  My kids understand this, but they know I make every effort possible to spend time with them. Everything else is secondary.

What else should we know about you?

As stated above, I have worked with HGR since Day 1.  I started out as one of our regional buyers and moved into management/ownership a few years later.  My wife and I have now been married for 22 years and have two kids.  My son is 17, is a senior in high school, and is working on figuring out his next step in life – where to attend college.  My daughter is 13 and is in the eighth grade. They both are very active in school and various activities.  For those who do not know, I live in the Great State of Michigan.  For you Buckeyes, do not worry. I am not a fan of that team out of Ann Arbor (NOT a fan at all!).  I do live about 45 minutes north of Ann Arbor, but that is really my only association with the school that resides there!

Anything I missed that you want folks to know?

I want all at HGR to know that I certainly appreciate all that they do to make HGR a success.  I am not at HGR’s Euclid office often, but, rest assured, I hear about and take notice of the great things they do to make HGR a success.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Councilperson Brian Moore’s office

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

SAVE THE DATE! Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at the office of Euclid City Councilperson Brian Moore., 22657 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio, on Oct. 9 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. EST for a for coffee and a chat.

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required.

Please register here.