One last hurrah for Scolari’s ‘family’
It was the spring of 1990 when Craig Ziglar left California to seek a new life in Carson Valley. Little did he know at that time how his route would lead to a new career at a soon-to-be opened grocery story.
Last Friday — 23 years and four months later — Ziglar helped close the Scolari’s Food & Drug Company store in Gardnerville as co-manager.
“I’ve had a good life here in the Carson Valley, and Scolari’s has been a big part of it,” he said. “I’ve made friends that will remain my friends forever. Some of these people are the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life.”
Former employees and customers of the Gardnerville Scolari’s store will have a chance to gather and reminisce tonight when a party is held upstairs at Sharkey’s Casino. A potluck dinner and no-host bar along with live music and dancing will be available from 5 p.m.-midnight.
“We definitely wanted to have a party for us for everyone involved with Scolari’s, that’s customers and employees,” Ziglar said. “It’s a customer appreciation night. I’m calling it the ‘Last Hurrah.’ And we’re inviting everyone in the community who would like to say goodbye, for our employees and customers to mingle and get together one last time.
“So come for fun, merriment, laughter and tears. Bring your dancing shoes. It will be a lot of fun.”
The two performing bands — Nighthawks and Craiglind Band — will perform starting at 7 p.m., according to Ziglar, who pointed out that band members themselves were regular shoppers at Scolari’s.
How fitting for a store that took pride in its family atmosphere.
“You were part of the Scolari’s family,” Ziglar said. “Like Tuesdays were Senior Day. The seniors always came in, the same ones every time. It was their place to go.”
It was also the place where in 2001 Ziglar met his future wife, Stacey.
“We liked to joke in the frozen food isle,” Ziglar said, recalling how he met his wife of 10 years. “Scolari’s happened to have a skating party that Sunday and I was going to it with my son, so I called Stacey and we had a date with the kids and went roller skating. We’ve been together ever since.”
After moving to the Valley, Ziglar soon found work at Scolari’s, which opened July 20, 1990. He worked his way up from perimeter clerk and on the freight crew, on up to frozen food manager, head clerk, assistant manager, and the last 10 years, assistant manager with Mark Stevens.
Ziglar even declined promotions at other Scolari’s stores in Northern Nevada because he did not want to leave Carson Valley.
“I just liked that store so much and I loved the people here,” Ziglar said.
“Closing it was the hardest, obviously; probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. It was draining. But it was good, too, in that I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while, people who came back when they heard we were closing.
“It’s been a great experience, it really has … 23 years and four months getting to know everybody in this town. It was really an awesome job.”
Craig and Stacey Ziglar have been active in the community, including roles with Relay For Life. Likewise, he took pride in the role Scolari’s played.
“Scolari’s was always charitable to so many groups and so many people,” Ziglar said. “Obviously, you can’t always give to everybody, but we sure tried. The Scolari family, (brothers) Joey and Jerry, they’re great down to earth people. They tried their best to keep the store open.”
In order to stay close to his home, Ziglar declined the opportunity to continue with the company. Instead, he will take time to spend with his family for the Christmas holiday season, and then will set out once again to start a new professional life.
“It’s been a great ride and I’m sorry to see it come to an end,” Ziglar said. “I really thought I would retire from Scolari’s. I’m a little sad about that, and it was a job I definitely enjoyed coming to every day.”