Written by Linda Carr

In the summer we all want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends enjoying the warmer days of the season. That means quick family meals and increased entertaining – whether it be picnics, barbecues, family reunions or more. Shop ‘n Save Fresh, located at Market Square in McHenry, can help make your summer meal prep easy, affordable, and delicious.

Shop ‘n Save Fresh was opened in 1997 by local entrepreneur and builder Hugh Umbel. It introduced a fresher approach to grocery shopping, offering a large selection of fresh and pre-packaged food, done onsite in addition to the traditional retail grocery items.

In addition to traditional grocery items, the store features a large selection of fresh food, produce, quality custom cut meat and fresh sandwiches and hot entrees from the delicatessen, and an upscale bakery that offers a variety of delectable treats year round. Hugh took it a step further, including a gourmet shop featuring hard to find specialty items for the gourmet cook.

Hugh decided to semi-retire last summer and sold to Ray Schurg, a former employee and co-owner of the Grantsville Shop ‘n Save. Both men have spent their entire adult lives in the retail grocery market and their experience shows in every facet of the business. Ray, along with Store Manager James Hook, shares Hugh’s vision for customer service, quality goods and cleanliness.

Shop ‘n Save makes use of every nook and cranny of space and their commitment to customer service is evident as soon as you walk into the store. Their delicatessen offers a variety of meats and cheeses including products by Boar’s Head. You’ll also find a nice selection of pre-made salads and sides and if you’re looking for a quick lunch, you can custom order a sandwich featuring all your favorites. Their Hot Bar features both fried and rotisserie chicken and a variety of hot entrees with daily features that change weekly ranging from meatloaf to lasagna to BBQ ribs. Light eaters will enjoy the variety of soups or ability to make a fresh salad to go at their Soup and Salad Bar.

Having a family picnic? You can order party trays of fresh deli meats and cheeses in addition to fried chicken, tortilla wraps or sandwich rings. Complement these options with one of their relish, fruit or vegetable trays or even a fresh assortment of rolls (48 hour notice required on larger orders).

If you like to grill, a visit to the Butcher shop is a must. They offer a large selection of quality, mouth-watering meats all freshly packaged and perfect for summer. They have a variety of sauces and seasonings to make your meal extra special. Looking for a special cut of meat? Special orders are welcome. Be sure to check out their daily special…five packages of meats for just $19.99, perfect for large families.

One of the most popular aspects of the store is their large gourmet section. With products from companies like Bob’s Red Mill and Hodgson MIll, you’ll find all the organic and gluten free items to keep even the choosiest member of the family happy. They also have a large selection of specialty meats and cheeses and everything from gourmet teas, mixers, salad dressings and seasonings. From grapeseed oil to tahini to pastas and sauces from DeCecco and DeLallo, you’ll find all the specialty items to make your next meal complete.

Of course, fresh fruits and vegetables are a summer staple and the Shop ‘n Save Fresh produce department delivers. They have a nice variety of organic and local produce as well as pre-packaged items to make healthy snacks a cinch.

Just because we’re in the mountains doesn’t mean you can’t have great seafood and Shop ‘n Save’s seafood department offers a variety of delicious shrimp and shrimp platters, steamed or live lobsters, crab legs, mussels or clams as well as crab legs, mussels or clams as well as a variety of seasonings and dipping sauces to make them complete.

Don’t forget dessert! Shop ‘n Save’s sister business is Mountain Flour Bakery and manager Pamela Warnick and her staff bake everything from made to order cakes, cookie trays and specialty breads. You’ll also find breakfast favorites like muffins and donuts. They can make any size and flavor of special occasion cake you may choose and their wedding cakes are so popular, they have a space in Market Square for brides to be to taste and choose from their many options.

Shop ‘n Save is also the place for last minute items. They sell everything from coolers to small appliances in addition to necessities like batteries, sunscreen and other health and beauty items. If you’re looking for a unique gift idea, try one of their personalized gift baskets. The folks at Shop N Save can help put together a customized gift baskets filled with produce, cheeses, bakery items or more, sure to please anybody on your gift list.

Hugh Umbel’s service to community was always a cornerstone of his business philosophy and Ray has every intention of continuing in that tradition. “It’s important to give back to the community that supports you,” says Ray and Shop ‘n Save Fresh is a proud supporter of the annual Fire on the Mountain Fireworks celebration and the Deep Creek Lake Art, Wine & Beer Festival. Because locals are the lifeblood of their business, Shop N Save offers a fuel perks program which shoppers can earn 1 penny off per gallon of gas for every $5 spent in the store — redeemable at BFS and Exxon in McHenry and the Valero and Exxon Stations in Grantsville (see store for details).

Shop ‘n Save Fresh offers weekly grocery specials and their special three-day sale with unbelievable savings is offered bi-monthly. Tuesday is Senior Citizen Day where patrons aged 62 and older receive 15% off their grocery bill for the first $75 spent. One new feature at the shop is a delivery service, offered from 9 AM to 5 PM daily. “We deliver anything we sell,” says Ray. There is a fee based on items purchased and area of service, but you can have anything from a wedding cake to donuts delivered directly to your door.

After you’re done shopping, head over to Ray’s other venture, Huey’s Ice Cream, also purchased from and started by Hugh Umbel. Cool off with a delicious soft serve cone or try one of 31 yummy flavors of Hershey Ice Cream featured in the shop. They also sell shakes and sundaes and offer an outdoor seating area to make the most of your summer day.

Shop ‘n Save Fresh is open daily at 7 AM year-round. Stop in soon and see what customer service and quality. The ownership may have changed, but Shop N Save Fresh still has the same clean store and customer service that has made it a popular retail shop for over 20 years.