COOPERSVILLE, Mich. - After years of working in the food industry for 30 years, "Big John" Hubert decided to branch off and start his own grocery discount store called Off the Tracks Food & Grocery Discount, 303 Main St.
Inside, you'll find name brand food and general merchandise items that are slightly outdated or post dated. But have no fear, they ARE safe to consume. These items range from bags of chips and coffee all the way to bacon and bagged lettuce. If its past the date posted, how can it be sold? John stresses that his store must closely follow federal guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He openly shares the story behind the items right up on the wall. Things like yogurt are actually good for 30 days beyond their expiration date, John said. His store can sell it where others can not.
Along with non-perishable items, Off the Tracks has a great selection of fresh produce at extremely low-cost. Locally grown and sometimes right from the Amish. I didn't hesitate to grab heirloom tomatoes for 50 cents a pint! Even after hours, John keeps fresh produce outside of his store for people to purchase through the honor system.
The sense of community is strong in Coopersville. Taking care of others is something that John and his wife Tammi have passed along to their children. Shoppers will notice "The Blessing Box". It's a mobile food pantry, the size of a tall cupboard. The door reads, "Take What You Need Donate When You Can". It was built by Tammi's father for Girl Scout Troop 4432 of which Tammi and John's daughters belong. It was at the store on that day and then will move to places like the church, mobile home park, etc.
A great way to keep up with new items hitting the shelves at rock bottom prices, is by following them on Facebook.
Store hours are Tuesday thru Friday, 9a.m. to 5p.m. and 9a.m. to 2p.m. on Saturday. (Closed Sunday and Monday)