Buehler’s has a history of success

Buehler’s has a history of success

The original brick building that housed Buehler’s Fresh Foods was a 26-by-70-foot space and was touted as a self-serve market.


When Ed and Helen Buehler, local dairy farmers, started the first Buehler’s Fresh Foods on West High Avenue in New Philadelphia in 1929, just as the Great Depression was starting, little did they know it would become one of the most successful and enduring independent grocery stores in Ohio.

Located on the property that was Daniels Women’s Store and the Gospel Book Store at 140 W. High Ave. in New Philadelphia, Buehler’s Fresh Foods was an offshoot of Buehler and Dudley Sulzner’s Fairview Dairy, located on Old Route 21 in Stone Creek, according to Erin VanFossen’s 2004 book, “New Philadelphia in Vintage Postcards,” published by Arcadia Publishing.

The original brick building that housed Buehler’s Fresh Foods was a 26-by-70-foot space and was touted as a self-serve market. It also was adjacent to Everett’s Bakery in New Philadelphia before that business moved to North Broadway.

The next location Buehler’s chose to open was at 120 E. Liberty St. in Wooster in 1932. That location was later followed by a location in the 100 block of North Market Street in 1947.

Its current downtown location, the Buehler’s Towne Market, was built and opened at 336 N. Market St. in 1951. Another Wooster location, the Milltown location at 3540 Burbank Road, opened in 1980 and was expanded in 1989. Wooster would later become the location of Buehler’s corporate headquarters.

After Buehler’s expanded into Wooster during the 1930s and the depths of the Great Depression, its next move was to open a location in downtown Dover in 1941. It would remain at 223 W. Third St. until 1957 when it would relocate to a full-service location at 420 W. Third St.

In 1991 longtime Buehler’s manager Doug Wills would be tasked with helping Buehler’s leadership build a new Dover Parkside store at 3000 N. Wooster Ave. near Dover City Park in North Dover.

Wills had previously worked at the F.B. Maurer Market on Front Street in New Philadelphia, according to the Times-Reporter’s Barb Limbacher. This third-generation Dover store would include a Tru-Value Hardware facility integrated into the building design, much like a similar project that was part of the design at Buehler’s third-generation New Philadelphia store, which opened at the corner of Mill Avenue and South Broadway in New Philadelphia in 1984.

The New Philadelphia Buehler’s location succeeded a second-generation store that was built at 238 Second St. NW and opened in 1964. This location became a Discount Drug-Mart in the early 1980s and continues as such.

Other Buehler’s locations that were added during the 1960s and 1970s and later include Orrville in 1959, Medina in 1964 and 1992, Coshocton in 1968, Delaware in 1969, and Wadsworth in 1975. The Delaware location closed in 2016, as did another later-generation location opened in Brunswick, which closed later that year.

After Ed and Helen Buehler retired, they transferred ownership to second-generation sons Don, Gene and Wayne. The latter died in 1972. Ownership was then turned over to third-generation Buehler members until 2017.

That year the family group, the E&H Family Group, the organization that held controlling interest in Buehler’s, moved to sell the business to Buehler’s employees as part of an employee stock ownership program. The company’s hardware business arm — E&H Hardware — was not affected. However, many of Buehler’s Tru-Value Hardware locations would later close.

Today, in addition to the previously mentioned locations, Buehler’s stores are located in Galion, Massillon, Portage Lakes, Canton and Ashland.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load