Siler's
OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY 8 AM - 9PM
SATURDAY 8 AM - 8 PM    SUNDAY 9 AM - 6 PM
204 E. SAGINAW, BRECKENRIDGE  842-5089
Long Distance Customers Call 1-888-5SILERS
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Grocery stocks what a small town wants - by Rosemary Horvath - Sun Staff Writer February 27, 2005
 Bernie Siler after he graduated from high school worked for Dow Chemical. He'd drag himself out of bed in the morning and it was only Monday. Workdays would drag out, he said. When he began working for Gilbert Madden at the Merrill grocery, Siler couldn't wait to get to work. "It's been like not working ever since. I love this work", he said. Siler started in the grocery business in his hometown of Merrill at the age of 20 at Madden's Market. He was general manager when Madden opened a grocery in Breckenridge and assigned Siler to run it. Six months later, Siler bought the 1,500-square-foot store. It was 1963 and he was 25 years old.  My dad was a farmer in the Merrill area," Siler said.  "He encouraged me to go into business.  I borrowed $15,000 and went into business." Siler said the first 15 years he and wife Mary "worked for nothing." Mary was a homemaker and helped out at the store starting in 1976, when their first son Bernie "B.J." was 10.  Their first real vacation after all these years was in Hawaii for their 25th wedding anniversary.  An easy way to get Siler to beam is to talk about the store's expansions. After four additions, the building is now more than 15,000 square feet. The East Saginaw Street (M-46) entrance was switched to the back when the village built parking lots behind the block of businesses. The business was incorporated in 1983.  With the most recent expansion in 2003, space for meat storage and walk-in freezer space doubled. New space was provided for bottle returns. A kitchen was built for baking goods daily and preparing foods for a new deli section. The expansion also provided for new public restrooms and truck bays for deliveries.  The Siler sons are part of the business. B.J. Siler,  over sees the meat department, a flagship of the enterprise. Meats are fresher, thicker and tastier. Customers travel from other cities to stock up. A popular item is giant pork chops stuffed with Siler's own prepared dressing.  "Our back bone is our fresh meats," Bernie Siler said who, for 20 years, used to cut all the meats and sell  whole chicken boneless breast. Now meats come in boxes. Westville in Indiana is the store's main supplier.  During a one-day meat sale -always the second Wednesday in February- they have around 10 meat cutters working. During that sale alone, they sell more than a ton of boneless skinless chicken breast.  Kurt Siler, is general manager and is involved in hiring, ordering, dairy products and overall business.  Siler's Market employees around 35. Another son, Eric, works at Dow Corning.