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Behind the Counter: Geissler's Supermarket in Granby

From hand-delivered goods in 1923 to an independent, family-owned supermarket chain. President Jim Nilsson talks about his family's business.

Before Geissler's Supermarket opened seven stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts, A. F. Geissler began delivering groceries in-person to East Windsor residents in Broad Brook village in 1923, according to the company's website.

The business grew into an independent chain and now is owned by the Nilsson family. One of the stores is in Granby on Bank Street.

Patch asked Geissler's grandson, Jim Nilsson, 60, about the supermarkets his family owns. Nilsson, a South Windsor resident, serves as president of the company. Here's what he had to say.

Q&A

Patch:  When did your business open?

Nilsson: Spring of 1923

Patch: Is it family-run?

Nilsson: "Yes, our grandfather started the business."

Patch: Please list the names of the owners and your role with the company.

Nilsson: "Jim Nilsson as President, Dan Nilsson as VP and Kathy Rybick as VP. We all have our children that are active in the business and will be taking over in the next few years. (Jaclyn, Jennifer, Eric, Ryan, Andrew, Bob)."

Patch: What services do you offer at your company?

Nilsson: "Ask the butcher any question as well as ordering your favorite cuts of meat, our deli can make up party platters and hot and cold foods for any occasion, as well as the fresh fruit and vegetable platters from the produce."

Patch: Why did you decide to open in Granby and what made you interested in your field?

Nilsson: "We took over the Guay & Kellogg small store when George Guay retired and have expanded to what it is today. I grew up in the business as well as seeing all of our customers."

Patch: Do you have a business mantra you live by?

Nilsson: "Customer service."

Patch: Can you tell us about your business background? Any notable awards?

Nilsson: "I graduated from Babson College and came into the business. Have been involved full and part time for 45 years. Awards; IGA International Retailer of the year, Connecticut Family Business Award from UCONN, Connecticut Food Association Person of the year, Jeffery Butler Family Business Award from the Small Business Association in Washington, Rotary Paul Harris award, Granby Chamber Business of the Year."

Patch: Finish the sentence. When I'm not working I'm...

Nilsson: "...with family or golfing."

BUSINESS INFORMATION

Business: Geissler's Supermarkets
Owners: The Nilsson family
Address: 9J Bank St., Granby
Phone number: 860-653-3990
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Website: www.Geisslers.com

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