Award-winning Frobose family feeds Pemberville

Press Staff Writer

In 2015, the Frobose Market IGA in Pemberville was awarded the IGA retailer of the year out of 275 stores.
That only happens when the right family is in charge, and in this case, it is the Frobose family, led by 68-year-old patriarch Bob Frobose.
The Frobose family will be inducted into the Eastwood Alumni Association’s Eagle Way Hall of Fame as community contributors, along with Jim Welling (noteworthy alumni and coach), Dr. Michelle Kahlenberg (noteworthy alumni) and James Opelt (community contributor and noteworthy alumni).
Due to COVID concerns, the hall of fame banquet previously set for Sept. 25 has been postponed tentatively for Feb. 26. Purchased tickets will be honored for the Feb. 26 event.
The IGA has been in Pemberville for well over a half century with Bob and Elaine Frobose purchasing from Bill and Judy Beard in October of 2012.
“It was then that Bob retired from Miller’s Markets. Bob so enjoyed the many years working for the Miller family, and it was a hard decision to leave that position. Bob always said that it was great working for Garry Miller and always appreciated the many opportunities he was given,” said HOF nominator Barb Emch, a loyal customer.
Frobose added, “We continue to make improvements at the IGA and the meat locker to meet our customer’s needs. We have approximately 40 to 50 great employees.”
Bob Frobose’s career began when Tom Meyer offered him an apprenticeship with Latham’s Markets. He started working in Clyde and learned the meat cutting trade from Lowell Frobose.
Over the years Frobose has worked in 17 different locations in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. He worked in management in numerous locations and then was offered the meat supervisor position from Miller’s Markets based in LaGrange, Indiana. The meat supervisor position was in charge of 10 stores in the tri-state area. While working for Millers Market Frobose was instrumental in creating the Certified Hereford Beef Program as a National Brand.
In July of 1999, the Frobose’s purchased Perkins’s meat locker. Bob continued to work for Millers along with running the meat locker. The normal work schedule was 100 hours per week.
In 2017 Bob and Elaine purchased the Pemberville Carryout.
“We have four great employees, and the business continues to provide for the community,” Frobose said.
In 2020, they purchased 213 Front Street. They have remodeled the building and it now has a new business.
Bob has been past President of Wood County Beef producers, founding member of Great Lake Family Farms, a beef co-op that markets all-natural beef to Whole Foods and other markets of that type. Bob has been on Webster Township zoning board and Board of Appeals. Bob is a board member of the Eastwood Community Improvement Corporation (ECIC).  The Frobose family are Honorary Eastwood FFA members. In 2014, we were honored with the Wood County Beef Producers award.
‘Treating people with respect’
Bob says his most influential teachers were his mom and dad, Loren and Ruth Frobose.
“Bob’s parents taught him to work hard and to treat people with respect. After Bob's dad retired in 1974, he strongly discouraged Bob from getting into the farming industry,” states the nomination.
“Loren Frobose passed away in 1989 and the following spring Bob’s mom asked if he would like to get cattle in the barn again. Bob jumped at the chance and purchased cattle. From 1990 until now the barn has always been full of cattle.”
Bob added, “It has been worthy to note that teaching our children and grandchildren the value of hard work and responsibility in caring for animals has been rewarding.”
Bob graduated in 1971 from Eastwood High School. In high school Bob participated in basketball, cross country and band. A former standout basketball player, he can often be seen with his sons at big prep tournament games.
Elaine graduated from Elmwood High School in 1973.
“She always has been supportive of Bob’s new business adventures and of Bob being a risk taker. They always worked together to make the risk work out.  Elaine's part in the business is the bookkeeper and making sure the boys stay in line,” the nomination continues.
The family are lifelong members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Rochester. Bob and Elaine met at church and were married in 1975.
They have four children that are all graduates of Eastwood — Benjamin, a 1997 Eastwood graduate, Jacob (1999), Abigail (2007) and Zachary (2009).
•       Ben has been Dr. Bratwurst and Chief Operation Officer at Frobose Meat Locker. He also is the lead Complex Protein Disassembly Technician at Frobose Meat Locker. Ben is an active member of the Wood County Farm Bureau and has served several years as vice president. Ben represented the Wood County Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C. for four years.
•       After graduation, Jacob went on to learn the family business. In 2009 when the family purchased the Pemberville IGA, Jacob managed the store full time. In 2015 Laurel Grocery awarded Jacob the Manager of the Year with the family receiving the Retailer of the Year. Jacob also manages the Pemberville Carryout.
•       Abigail has been and will be in the future an important part of the meat locker and the IGA
•       In 2011 Zach graduated from OSU/ATI with a degree in Agriculture Commerce. Zach started working in the produce department in 2011 for the previous owner. Now he works as the produce manager and helps wherever needed at both the IGA and the meat locker.


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