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Mitch Haight takes over ownership of the landmark Newberg grocery store in November

GRAPHIC PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Longtime manager Mitch Haight took over ownership of Nap's Thriftway in mid-November from Rich Peterson, who had owned and managed the grocery story for decades.

A landmark that has been in business for more than 80 years has a new owner for only the fifth time in its history.

Nap's Thriftway is now owned by Newberg native Mitch Haight, having finalized the sale from Rich Peterson in mid-November.

Haight, 55, started at the store in 1980, when he was a 14-year-old high school student. His first duties were cleaning the meat department. He took over as manager of the 43-employee store in 1995.

Peterson has retired, Haight said, and become part owner at a driving range in Keizer. He started at the store as a courtesy clerk and worked his way up to store manager.

The store was opened in 1936 by G.R. Napper, who had recently moved to Newberg from Colorado. The store was originally located in an "pioneer frame structure" at the corner of East First and Washington streets and was called Nap's Cash Grocery.

In addition to groceries, it featured a café and served fresh donuts and ice cream.

In May 1946, the store relocated to the site it inhabits today near the corner of First and Main streets and was renamed Nap's Super Market.

The manager of the store, Art Komma, had inherited a building at that site which formerly held the Harmon Motor Company. Under his direction contractors undertook a complete remodeling effort that resulted in a 15,000-square-foot market "that would launch a new era in grocery shopping in this city and throughout Yamhill County," a story in the July 2016 of Chehalem Connection said.

"At last, Newberg had a real 'super' market, with 50 fluorescent ceiling lamps, a restaurant that included a lunch counter long-time Newberg residents remember with fondness, a meat market, a kitchen and self-service shopping aisles that seemed to stretch to the other side of town," the story said.

The reconstruction effort cost about $100,000, what would amount to millions in today's dollars.

In 1977, Peterson was hired by owners Wilbur and Dave Bauer to manage the store. In 1989, the trio teamed up to demolish the building and erect a new one on the site, expanding the floor space to 25,000 square feet. Peterson bought the business in 1994 along with his wife Mary.

Haight said he doesn't anticipate making any big changes to the store, but rather "we'll keep all the employees and try to make improvements and upgrades as we see fit."

It is a business that engenders longevity in its employees, as witnessed by Haight's long career as well as Mike Nashif (1977), Marylou Blanchard (1989) and Teri Burnett (1991).

Haight said the reason for the store's success is fairly simple: "Nap's has a great neighborhood location and has always been a part of the community. We pride ourselves on friendly customer service."

That heart for the community will continue to be evidenced in the store's outreach, such as its 1% back receipts fundraising program, 5 percent off groceries over 60 years of age on Tuesdays and 5 percent off grocery orders over $100. The store will also, Haight said, continue Peterson's support of the local school district, Newberg FISH and the Old Fashioned Festival.

"My goal is to keep Nap's a profitable part of the community that we can all be proud of," he said.

Business briefs

You'll have to wait a day longer to get your

garbage and recycling collected locally

Waste Management -- the company that picks up your garbage, yard debris, recycling and glass at the curb – wants customers to know that service will be suspended on Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and New Year's Day (Jan. 1) in Newberg, Dundee and unincorporated areas of Yamhill County.

Collections normally slated for Wednesdays will occur the following day, those typically set for Thursdays will be moved back to Friday and so on with Friday collections.

The WM transfer station in Newberg, located on Wynooski Street, will be closed as well on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. It will close at noon on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as well.

The Riverbend Recycling Center and Landfill will also be shuttered on Christmas and New Year's days and will close at noon on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Year-round schedules for all of Waste Management's facilities are available online at wmnorthwest.com. For more information on Riverbend in particular, visit riverbend.wm.com.


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