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Portage Strack & Van til ribbon cutting

Strack & Van Til in Portage.

Strack & Van Til, the Region's largest homegrown grocery chain, won an industry award for excellence in beef.

Certified Angus Beef honored Strack & Van Til at its annual conference in Asheville, North Carolina as Retail Rising Star — Small Chain for its "leadership in beef quality, marketing and sales." 

"Strack & Van Til added Certified Angus Beef brand Prime and ground beef in stores, giving customers a wide selection of quality," Certified Angus Beef said in a press release. "The branded beef was featured regularly on the circular’s front page and social media. Team training helped managers introduce the new products to customers."

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Owned by family ranchers, the Certified Angus Beef brand was founded more than 40 years ago to promote a high-quality beef known for its "generous marbling, superior taste and tenderness in every bite." It also honored beef packers, meat processors, steakhouses, barbecue restaurants, distributors and other retailers at the annual conference on merchanding and marketing the premium beef.

Strack & Van Til is a Highland-based chain with 20 locations across Northwest Indiana. Longtime Region grocers Ernie Strack and Nick Van Til partnered in 1959, and opened their first store a year later in Highland.

The grocery company remains under the family ownership of the Strack and Van Til families through parent company Indiana Grocery Group, which saved the retailer from bankruptcy and a Jewel-Osco acquisition bid in 2017. Outlasting many other local grocery chains, Strack & Van Til now operates 19 stores across the Region under the Strack & Van Til brand and a Town and Country in Valparaiso.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.