13 W Walnut St., Flora, IN 46929
With over 30 employees, Stephan’s IGA continues a legacy of providing small town service to Flora and the surrounding community. From the employees who greet customers at the checkout or carry out bagged groceries, to those that cut meat to order, this locally-owned business also keeps Carroll County running by providing many jobs.
Although the business has changed over the years, from new buildings to remodels, owner, Trent Stephan, believes that some things should not. “Good customer service is always important. That doesn’t change,” he says, adding, “These days, the grocery industry has many ways of marketing to customers…finding out what they like and what their buying habits are. But I don’t need that. I know my customers. They are friends, and I know what they like.”
Trent says that the store has received many compliments, including the deli, which offers hot lunch trays that are popular with people who can’t or don’t cook for themselves. Quality is important at Stephan’s IGA. Trent tries to buy local produce when he can, and he has a high standard for the meat department. “Our meat is cut on-site daily,” he says. “It is not pre-packaged like the meat you usually find in stores in larger places. We also don’t tenderize and sell lesser grades of meat. We use choice cuts or better.”
Trent’s father bought the business in 1958, after it was established 10 years earlier. Trent went to art school and worked in a large city for some time in the advertising industry before coming back home to work for his dad. He credits his father with instilling in him a natural desire to give back to the community. “My dad always participated in local things, whether it was sponsoring a youth sports team or donating supplies for a church fundraiser,” he says. “I grew up with that. That’s just what you do.”
Indeed, while Stephan’s IGA continues to add new items to the shelves to keep up with customer’s ever-expanding tastes and busy lifestyles, much of the small town experience remains. “I still have parents who send their kids in with $10 and a list of groceries they need,” he says.