Blarney Castle opens EZ Market in Onekama

Pic 2

ONEKAMA — The one-of-a-kind one-stop shop for convenience items, groceries and gas is officially open in Onekama.

On Thursday morning, Blarney Castle for the first time welcomed the public to its EZ Market — located at 5357 Main St. (M-22) in the village — which will now be open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“We’re very excited, and the community has been very receptive every step of the way,” said Dennis P. McCarthy, sales manager of Blarney Castle Oil & Propane. “It’s always pretty hectic opening a new store, but we’ve had a lot of help, and a lot of enthusiasm, so it’s been great.”

Blarney Castle’s modernized EZ Mart and gas station incorporates a selection of groceries that expands the typical stock found at EZ Marts across the region, making Onekama’s aptly named EZ Market an unprecedented endeavor for the family-owned Michigan-based company.

“It’s definitely somewhat of a new venture for us,” McCarthy said, “We basically consolidated our two (previous) operations here, but with the need for a grocery store in town we decided to expand our service a bit.

“We have about 6,000 square feet of nice grocery offerings,” he said, “We have a full service meat counter — a full deli with daily lunch specials — as well as grab-and-go sandwiches and salads.”

The Village of Onekama council approved a special use permit in November of 2016, giving Blarney Castle the green light to consolidate its current services in Onekama (The Spirit and EZ Mart, both located along Main Street) into a more modern facility.

The EZ Market property was once home to Saco’s Market, the former supplier of groceries to village residents that had been out of business for a number of years prior to Blarney Castle’s purchase.

Renovations to the building and surrounding property included 2,000 additional square feet of retail space, underground storage tanks for fuel and fuel dispensers.

The facility features updated petroleum services compared to the village’s current stations, such as pay-at-the-pump availability and canopies to protect customers from inclement weather.

Blarney Castle closed the Spirit and EZ Mart stations this week, upon the opening of its EZ Market.

“We transferred inventory and we’ll get those sites cleaned up and ready for something else,” McCarthy said. “At this point, though, we have no specific plans for those sites.”

Current employees of the two stations have transitioned to the EZ Market, McCarthy said, while nearly 10 new hires round out a staff of nearly 30.

avatar

Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply