SARAH HOWARD: Council on Aging will feel loss of Oleson’s store

TO THE EDITOR:

I am writing this letter to let the entire community know how sad everyone Manistee County Council on Aging are to hear that Oleson’s is closing.

I know every day for the last several months, I would hear rumors about Oleson’s closing, but I just thought they were rumors. Now that it is really happening, my family, my staff, all of our seniors and I are heartbroken.

Oleson’s has been a constant for the Manistee County Council on Aging and the entire community of Manistee. Whether we needed to pick up something for our food bank, or if we needed a hand with something, Oleson’s has always been there.

I sent a request in to Oleson’s corporate office once for a large birthday cake to celebrate the seniors’ birthdays at the Senior Center, and there were no questions. From then on, every month, Oleson’s bakery decorated a beautiful cake for our birthday party, free of charge.

Wes, Jerry and the entire Oleson’s staff have been like family to many people in Manistee County. I know that everyone who frequents Oleson’s will find it difficult to replace such a wonderful group of people.

Several years ago I had a crazy experience.

I had moved back home after being gone for several years and didn’t know the Oleson’s staff personally. I did my shopping and was checking out. Lo and behold, I had forgotten my checkbook. The cashier said, “Don’t worry, you can take your groceries home and you can bring me the check later.” I was dumbfounded … only at Oleson’s would this happen.

I know there are many stories out there like mine. If you have a special story about an experience at Oleson’s or how someone there has made your day, I hope you share it with our community.

I know with Oleson’s closing it is going to be especially difficult for our seniors in our community, as they feel like Oleson’s is their store. They know where everything is and everyone treats them like family.

Oleson’s closing will be a huge loss to Manistee County, and I hope the Oleson Family and the Oleson staff know how much they all mean to us.

Sarah Howard

Executive director, Manistee County Council on Aging

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