Over the past six months, Tuan Mai has become quite the grocery entrepreneur.
In late December, he rescued the IGA MarketPlace in Lincoln's Air Park neighborhood after it was set to close.
Last month, Mai revealed plans to open a grocery store called Fresh N' Save in a vacant former hardware store at 945 S. 27th St. That store is set to open on Aug. 15.
Now Mai has added two more stores to his portfolio.
Last week, Mai became the new owner of the two Schmick's Markets in Lincoln.
Mai is not new to business — he owns a couple of buildings at 16th and O streets — but he is new to being a grocery store owner.
"I would like to keep myself busy, so whenever something is a good opportunity, then I will take it," he said of his foray into the grocery business. "I like to work and also want to create more jobs for workers at this difficult time."
As with the grocery store in Air Park and the new one on 27th Street, the Schmick's Market stores, which are at 2727 N. 11th St. and 1340 W. O St., will have an Asian influence.
Mai is changing their name to Mai's Market, and he said he will add more Asian food offerings to both stores.
But he also plans to add other things that will appeal to customers, including more Midwestern foods and U-Haul rental services. He said he may add online ordering and delivery and pickup services in the future.
Mai said he plans to keep meat prices the same and hopes to lower the prices for some of the other products the store sells.
Cody Schmick, whose family owned the Schmick's Markets, said they decided to get out of the grocery business.
The Schmick family, which also owns Kinkaider Brewing and a nightclub and distillery in Lincoln, opened the Lincoln stores in 2014.
Cody Schmick said the family sold its grocery stores in Broken Bow and McCook earlier this year to Gary's Super Foods.
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