March 12, 2009

Center's only grocery store closes its door

Milk N’ Honey is no longer flowing in Center with the Feb. 27 closing of the downtown grocery store owned by Rick and Lisa Reichenberg. The store was the only full grocery in the community.

The Reichenbergs began scaling back operations early last fall, but would not officially confirm that they were closing the business until the door closed that last day. Customers, however, had noticed that the store’s shelves gradually became more bare.

Originally from Center, Rick and Lisa moved back to Center from Denver, Colo., in 1993 after learning that Rick’s dad was seriously ill. Then in April 1994, they heard that Yatsin and Donna Berger, owners of the Y&D Grocery Store, might be willing to sell the business.

The Reichenbergs bought it and renamed it Milk N’ Honey Market.

"We got the name from some friends in Denver who joked about us moving to North Dakota, calling it the Land of Milk and Honey," Lisa said.

"The Bergers trained us," Rick said. "But if it weren’t for Lyla Helmenstein and Shirley Hilzendeger who worked there at the time, we would have been out of business the first year."

When the Reichenbergs bought the store, Lyla and Donna taught Rick meat cutting.

"He was an excellent meat cutter," Lyla said.

Lyla said that people didn’t appreciate the store enough.

The Weather Network