The grocery business has always been an important part of Mike Kelly’s existence.

Garrett and Mike Kelly in the general merchandise area

It began with his parents who made a living in the grocery industry. They did everything from management at Safeway, to owning their own stores and culminated in his father’s working for United Grocers and his mom running a small grocery/convenience store in Westmoreland.

While attending high school at Franklin, Kelly started to learn about the trade by helping his mother at the store.

After high school, he worked at different grocery-affiliated jobs before opening his own grocery store in Orient with his wife, Mary. Recently he and his family celebrated the Grand Opening of their new business Discounts Plus, 10950 SE Division.

Though slightly out of The Southeast Examiner’s distribution area, it’s still a worthwhile drive for savings.

“There is a lot of hunting and gathering involved in this type of merchandising but I am able to give a great value by buying low so I can sell low,” Kelly said.

The main bulk of the store is devoted to sundry items–health and beauty products, hardware,  stationary and paper products, baby, pet, tools, garden, clothing, shoes, general merchandise etc.

Another room is filled with food and beverages and a cooler for milk, cheese, eggs and meat. “In order to be certified for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) the store must be able to provide a balanced meal for their customers,” Kelly said. They hope to be certified within the month.

Discounts Plus is able to provide merchandise at a discounted rate because of all the contacts Kelly has in the retail and grocery world. Close-outs, products that are being re-packed, over-stock, samples, over-runs and changes in production are a few of the reasons he is able to procure certain goods and sell for less. He recently purchased Food 4 Less groceries when they went out of business.

Discounts Plus is a family affair. Kelly’s wife is his partner and their son Garret stocked, arranged and displayed most of the aisles in the store. Their other son Adam work at the store when he’s not in school. His sisters Barb and Karen both help out as well as Barb’s sons, Corey and Clark, Franklin HS graduates.

One of the hardest items to keep in stock is the pet food section Kelly said. Otherwise there is about a 30/40 percent reorder ability. Kelly tells people that things come and go fairly quickly so…“ if you want it, get it.”

They accept all major credit card and debit cards and will soon be set up for the EBT, food stamp program cards. There is an interesting selection of items available to shop seven days a week from 9 am – 7 pm.