Hammersley new owner of Baldwin and White Cloud grocery

BALDWIN — Houseman's Grocery Store in Baldwin now has a new owner, but he may be a familiar face to shoppers: Jon Hammersley.

Hammersley officially took over as owner of both the Baldwin Houseman's and the location in White Cloud in May. Prior to that, he was the store director of the Baldwin store for the last 13 years and the White Cloud store for five years.

"I worked for the Baldwin store as a bagger when it was still called Star Foods," said Hammersley. "I have a passion for people. I love the customers and the employees and I love the grocery business. I've been part of it since I was 14 years old."

As practically a life-long employee of the business, his taking over came as no surprise to anyone, least of all Hammersley.

"I worked for Jeff Houseman for years and it was always the plan for me to take over for him when he retired," explained Hammersley. "He was a great boss and a great guy. He was more like a dad to me than a boss."

Hammersley said the stores are already offering great service and wares to their customers so both stores will remain largely the same with few, if any, changes coming despite having someone new up top.

"It would be pretty bad if I thought we needed to make changes since I was the one running the two businesses," he laughed. "Largely, I would be countering my own policies."

He laughed at the idea of changing the name from Houseman's as it has become a name in the community. Hammersley said he plans on keeping up the standard of service people have come to expect of Houseman's and do his best at the reins.

"The store opened more than 30 years ago by Jeff's Dad, James," said Hammersley. "James bought the store back after he sold it, it passed down to Jeff, and Jeff passed it on to me. I plan on doing the best job I can."