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Blocks Fresh Market
Providing Quality & Convenience Since 1921

By: Jeanie MayerDreymiller-3.jpg

Whether you are running in for a gallon of milk or doing your weekly shopping, Block’s Fresh Market has been serving the grocery needs of the Village of Hampshire since 1921, when A. F. Block first opened the store.  It has changed hands only a few times since then: in 1998 when Dale and Nancy Sester purchased it, and in November of 2018, when current owner, A. J. Patel took over the business.


“I had heard about this store in Hampshire from my cousin, Sam, who ran the Marathon gas station in town.  Then I met Dale and Nancy, they are a great couple.  They were honest and straightforward and offered to sell to me,” AJ said.

AJ currently resides in Roselle and was immediately impressed by the friendliness and atmosphere of the Hampshire community.

“The people here are amazing.  The community is family oriented.  I’m an outsider, but they took me in, and they are supporting us,” he said.

He said he also found working with the Village Board to be a positive experience

“I owe special thanks to the Village staff and the Mayor, and to the families of Hampshire for supporting us.  This couldn’t be possible without them,” he said.

Since opening the store, AJ has been busy remodeling and updating the facilities with a new equipment for the butcher shop, new lighting throughout the store, all new coolers, freezers and cash registers, plus new flooring and shelving units.  He has also expanded produce department, added additional grocery products, and now offers liquor and beer sales for customers.

“Customers have said they like the updates and everyone loves the meat department.  This store is like a modern, small-scale Jewel-Osco,” AJ said.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the store’s friendly atmosphere and long-time staff members.  In the meat department, Ken Hodgkins works as the head butcher along with John Nay, and up front, Jennifer Phillips, who has been with the store for 24 years, still comes in early to open the store and work the cash register.  

AJ said he believes in supporting the community and the causes it holds dear.  He as supported the library and provided donations to Coon Creek Country Days.  He also believes in hiring local employees to keep everything in the community.

“We donate to every charity that comes in. We are all about giving to the community,” AJ said.

Patrons can find out about weekly deals on the store’s new Facebook page at  The store is also offering sale flyers in store, through the Facebook page and soon will be included in local newspapers as well.


About This BusinessDreymiller-4.jpg

Name:  Block’s Fresh Market

Owner: A. J. Patel

Address:  199 Maple Street, Hampshire

Phone:  847-683-2531

Social Media:  Facebook

Hours:  Sunday:  8am-7pm, Monday -Saturday:  7am-9pm


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