The same group that purchased Waterloo's famous Harmony Lunch is making a major investment in St. Jacobs.
Fat Sparrow Group purchased Stone Crock Inc. in a deal that closed December 5, 2018.
This includes popular spots like Jacob's Grill, Stone Crock Meats and Cheese, Stone Crock Bakery, Stone Crock Restaurant, three booths at the St. Jacobs Farmers' market, St. Jacobs Catering, Salad Division, and meeting/banquet rooms.
Stone Crock was founded by Milo Shantz and his wife Laura in 1975.
Sandra Shantz, CEO of Stone Crock Inc. said they have found a perfect successor for their business and she will be staying on with the company, but the deal is still a little bitter sweet.
"It's hard not to be nostalgic," said Shantz. "There's lots of good times here. I think of my dad and painting the Stone Crock when I was 12-years-old, lots of memories."
Shantz, who took over in the 90's said she's staying on board, and it's not necessarily a step back from the family business.
"I think I'm taking a step in," said Shantz. "I'll still be working with everyone and with the Fat Sparrow Group, so it feels like I'm diving into a new project."
She adds Fat Sparrow Group is the perfect successor to continue Stone Crock and their traditions, and said customers and employees will be in good hands.
"It was just good timing for the Shantz family," said Shantz. "We've been at this for 43 years, we're very proud of what we've accomplished, but you can't hang on to it forever."
Nick Benninger Co-founder of Fat Sparrow Group says we won't see any big changes any time soon.
"We were very aware of the history and respecting the traditions and the success of the business," said Benninger. "It certainly doesn't need someone to come in and fix it, it's a successful business. We look forward to adding to it in positive ways and not taking away any parts of it that are important to people."
He said all staff will be asked to stay on during the transition.
"We have no interest in changing the staff at all. I worked at the Stone Crock about 15 years ago, for about four years, so a lot of the staff that were there then are still there now," says Benninger. "They have some staff that have been there for 35-40 years... We see them as our most valuable asset in a lot of ways, and that's our philosophy at Fat Sparrow as well."