Strack & Van Til’s Highland $4 million expansion and remodeling project has recently been completed, said President David S. Wilkinson.
Wilkinson said combined space in the warehouse and corporate office, located at 2244 45th St., totals 35,000 square feet. He said the office is staffed by 120 employees.
Locating the corporate office in Highland was a logical choice for the company, Wilkinson said.
“Most of our offices have been here for some time,” Wilkinson said. “We decided to consolidate the offices. Some of the staff was in our Highland store and some in our Schererville store.”
For the project, the Highland Town Council granted Strack & Van Til a 10-year property tax abatement.
With 5,700 employees,the Strack & Van Til Company encompasses 20 Strack & Van Til stores, two Town & Country stores, and 14 Ultra Food stores in Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area. The newest, a 49,583 square-foot Cedar Lake Strack & Van Til at 9605 Lincoln Plaza, opened in May.
Strack & Van Til is heavily involved in helping the community, Vice President Andy Raab said, including raising money for local food banks especially through the company’s annual golf outing Aug. 27 at Cog Hill Country Club in Lemont, Ill., and a fundraising drive during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Raab said the company has donated $255,000 to local schools. Community involvement also includes local Boys & Girls Clubs, chambers of commerce and Rotary and Lions clubs.
“We are committed to Northwest Indiana with the WiseWay acquisition earlier this year with six additional stores under the Strack and Van Til banner,” Wilkinson said. “We are definitely committed to the marketplace.”
Raab also emphasized the company's commitment to the region.
“We are definitely committed to Northwest Indiana,” Raab said. “We have the most stores; we all live here. We are locally owned and operated.”
Strack & Van Til’s has been in business since 1960, when Ernie Strack joined with Nick Van Til, who began his work in the late 1920s as a young grocery delivery boy in Hammond. Strack grew up on his father’s farm in Germany before coming to the United States and working at a grocery store in 1928.