This week saw the passing of an era in the local grocery market as Bill and Connie Pauling, owners of Bill's Supermarket handed over the keys to their business to Tim and Jodi Dittes. An open house was held on Friday, and the Dittes officially took over operations on Sunday when Bill's became Montevideo Market.

This week saw the passing of an era in the local grocery market as Bill and Connie Pauling, owners of Bill’s Supermarket handed over the keys to their business to Tim and Jodi Dittes. An open house was held on Friday, and the Dittes officially took over operations on Sunday when Bill’s became Montevideo Market.

Pauling, who was born in Montevideo, has spent the last 42 years in the grocery business. He first became involved in the business as a teenager when he began working at Gary’s Red Owl. Over the years, Pauling has owned grocery stores in Clark, SD, Madison, and Dickinson, ND.

Pauling said: “We weren’t really thinking about retiring and selling the business, but then Tim and Jodi showed an interest. We thought and prayed about it, and decided the time was right.”

The Dittes are the owners of several area grocery stores, including the Don’s Food Pride stores in Appleton and Dawson. Both Tim and Jodi have local roots, with Tim growing up in Appleton and Jodi being from Montevideo. Tim has been in the grocery business since 1977.

Pauling has owned and operated Bill’s Super­market for a little over 21 years. The grocery store earned a lot of respect for offering quality products and treating their customers right. “We know our customers; we know their names and we are proud to have served them over the years,” Pauling said.

As for the future, Pauling said he doesn’t have any definite long-term plans. “We’re leaving soon for a seven-week vacation in Montana. I’ll be doing a lot of skiing, both downhill and cross country,” he said with a smile.

With the change in new ownership, customers can expect some changes. Tim Dittes mentioned that the store will be carrying the Our Family brand and that there will also be a larger selection of fresh produce.

The Dittes will be keeping all 26 of the store’s employees, and they are looking forward to providing the community of Montevideo with the same great selection of food, as well as quality customer service.