Lotter?s Northern Pantry plans grand opening

Lotter’s Northern Pantry opened at 1201 Grand Ave. in Merrill on Oct. 24, 2012. Owners Frank & Kay Lotter have waited to get the business rolling before holding a grand opening this Saturday, April 13.
Prior to the Lotters taking over the store, the business had been closed for a few weeks. They purchased the gas station/convenience store in December of 2012. The Lotters own three other stations in Pickerel, Crandon and Mercer.
One of the biggest changes the Lotters have made in the store is to reopen the deli, which now features Chester’s Chicken and a host of other menu items including Antigo potato wedges, cheesy hashbrowns, popcorn chicken, onion rings, mozzarella sticks and cheese curds. Fresh baked biscuits are also on the menu, along with homemade potato salad and cole slaw. The menu includes various snack packs, meal deals and family-size orders. The deli is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week.
To get the deli back up and running, new equipment was installed and the counter was redone. Kay said she’s looking ahead to expanding the deli to include even more menu offerings.
At the pumps, Lotter’s Northern Pantry was rebranded to Mobil and also features diesel pumps. The convenience store serves New England Coffee.
Kay said the station’s proximity to the MARC, Council Grounds State Park, Industrial Park and surrounding residential neighborhood was a selling point for them.
Frank grew up in the business and the Lotters bought their first station in 2007. While Merrill is the largest community their stations serve, “it’s still small enough that you can be personable with everybody,” Kay said. “We felt this was an up and coming community and we had an opportunity to really make this station something.”
Lotter’s Northern Pantry is managed by Claire Giltz and currently has five employees, with more to be hired going into the summer months.
Business has been picking up since the Lotter’s took over. “We are seeing a marked improvement,” Kay said. “People are getting used to us being here.”
“We just want to provide good service, quality food and gasoline,” Frank added.
Lotter’s Northern Pantry is open Monday-Thursday 5 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 5 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

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