Forward Corp. has announced that it is acquiring Ideal Party Stores’ two locations in Bay City, at 401 S. Salzburg and 908 N. Johnson. The Shamrock Dairy Bar, adjacent to the Johnson Street store, is also part of the acquisition.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Abby Moniz, president of Forward Corp. “Ideal Party Store has a rich history and is a well-respected name that aligns with what Forward is best known for.”
Ideal President Jerry Crete is a third-generation owner of the company who took over in 1996 and wanted to step back from day-to-day operations. He will stay on as a consultant with Forward, focusing on his passions in beer, wine, and spirits.
“I’m thrilled we were able to find another local, family-owned and operated company to take over the Ideal operation,” said Crete. “It was important to me that we found someone who shared our vision and values, and Forward was the perfect match. This gives me an opportunity to step away from the administrative side of things and spend the majority of my time doing what I love,” Crete said. “I’m looking forward to helping with this transition to make sure our customers get the same Ideal experience they’ve come to expect.”
Current Ideal employees will be staying with the with the company, keeping customer service consistent. “The great people at Ideal were a big part of this acquisition,” Moniz said. “Their knowledge and experience in the industry is unmatched. Not only will they be staying on, but we look forward to learning from them, as well.”
The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks and will boost Forward’s convenience division to 31 locations, including 26 Shell and 3 Marathon convenience stores.
Forward Corp. is a fifth-generation family-owned and operated Michigan company in business for over 95 years. Known primarily for its convenience stores, Forward’s brand portfolio has grown to include Subway restaurants, Super 8 Hotels, a Quality Inn, and The LumberJack Restaurant in West Branch. Forward Corp. also owns and operates Forward Energy, a heating fuels outfit, and T.R. McTaggart, a custom screen print and embroidery business. Forward Corp. is headquartered in Standish, Mich., and employs 1,000 people across the state.
Ideal Party Store is one of the region’s top destinations for beer, wine and spirits and features a wide selection of beverages not found anywhere else in the area. Founded in 1934, Ideal grew steadily over the years before expanding its Johnson Street location in 1976. The Shamrock Dairy Bar was added in 1997, and then a second Ideal location opened on Salzburg Avenue in 2010.