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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 -- 11:40 AM

After 40 years, the Solberg family is getting out of the grocery business in Neillsville.

The deal isn?t quite final, but Bob and Caryl?s IGA is being sold to Hansen?s IGA. According to on-line records, Hansen?s IGA operates five grocery stores in Bangor, Westby, Elroy, Cashton and West Salem.

It?s been a long time since Bob Solberg, an Osseo native, started the store back in 1969.

"When I first came to Neillsville, there were at least 10 grocery stores in Neillsville," Solberg recalls. "Most of the changes have been in technology, of course."

For instance, scanner technology hadn?t been invented yet.

Solberg?s first location was in the building that now houses Connie?s Kids Daycare.

They moved to their current location in 1977, and then built a brand new building in 1988.

"That was a scary situation," he remembers. "It got to be so that, not only technology, but we didn't have the facilities to do deli and bakery, and some of those things we needed to do on our own."

There are days when Bob misses the interaction with customers and employees, but he doesn?t miss the ?red tape?.

"All the taxes and all the things that we had to go through. I think we had to have 7, 8 or nine licenses just to run a grocery store," he complains.

All six of the Solbergs? kids worked at the store at some point. Three of them are still involved, including Scott, who bought the operation in 2003.

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