Gary and Terrie Baker, owners of the Baker’s IGA store in Newcomerstown and four other stores, were recently chosen as the "International Retailers of the Year" by IGA.

In announcing the award, officials for the International Grocers Allinance said, "Celebrating 100 years in business this year, the Baker family has five IGAs in Ohio, including award-winning Baker’s IGA in Newcomerstown. Gary and Terrie Baker attribute their legacy of success to their ongoing commitment to fostering a caring culture for their employees, shoppers, and community. The Newcomerstown store is known throughout the area it serves for fun promotional events, local favorite deli items made from Baker’s signature recipes, and giving back to the community."

Gary and Terrie Baker thanked numerous people who helped Baker’s IGA become successful

"Our customers past and present, even those who complained, you have and continue to make us better," they said. "No one does this alone, each of you has given us help and support along the way, a kind word or a helping hand. We love you all. And lastly none of this happens without our faith and love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! This feels like the culmination of 50 years in the business for ... our company."

Gary Baker pointed to the path provided by his Grandfather Lewis Baker and his father and mother, Ed and Mary Baker.

The Baker’s also thanked "Our 150 Associates and five stores, especially Mark Cutshall, our office staff of Judy, Susan, Tim, Charise, Newcomerstown Store Manager Roger Seitz, Coshocton (store manager) Brett Bantum, Scio (store manager) Crystal Watson, Sugarcreek (store manager) Albert Emler, Mount Vernon (store manager) K.T. Colvin

"Our Wholesale Supplier AWG of Nashville, John Likens, Terry Roberts, Jeff Pederson, Carol Matherley and Keith Ballinger.

"Our friends and colleagues, past and present, at IGA USA Chicago Dr. Tom, Mark Batenic, John Ross, Doug Fritsch, Dave Bennett, Jim Walz, Heidi Waxenberg Huff, Megan Drazer, Paulo Goelzer, Ashley Page Nancy Jauch Vicelli Richard F. St John, Jim Griffin and Terry Carr.

"My original mentors and grocery heroes, my dad Ed, Jim and Cindi Ross Stoll, Earl Hawkins, Herb and Bob Jackie Beavers Rippley, Terry Ginger, Dortmund Littrell, Bob Jones, Bill Hunnemann, Bobbie Gardon Meechan.

"Vendor partners like Caito Foods, Mark Heil of Pepsi, John Novak and Bob Luke of Superior Dairy, Harold Pillot of Beach Candy, Cy Schrock and Jeff Pausch of Smith Dairy and all the hundreds of men and women suppliers who taught us the business backwards and forwards.

"Maintainence partners Ernie Fraser and Jason Pendola and about 50 others.

"Our high schools and colleges MVNU, Kent State, Bowling Green, Ohio University (Athens), The Ohio State University, and Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio; my favorite Prof Leslie Fine as well as Jay Barney, Jay Dial, and so many others! We owe much credit to receiving our MBA degrees late in life.

"NGA, FMI, OGA and ECO...each of our trade associations taught us thousands of hacks/skills to operate our business successfully. Kudoes to Dick Hetherington, Tom Jackson and Kristin Mullins.

"Harrison News Herald, Randy O’Grady; Newcomerstown News, Jerry Wolfrom and Ray Booth.

"Our accountants Bob Case of Bruner & Cox; Bob Carr and Scott Warburton at Rea & Associates; Todd Mizer, you taught us financial accountability.

"My good friends Joe Mary Pusateri Dave Ross from the A/G and Seaway Days; the crew at Supervalu from 2000-2014; the crew at Seaway Foods 1991-2000.

"Our bankers over the years: Tom Sulens, Beccy Porteus, Tom Canedi, Cork Loader and Bill Diane McCormick-Hull. Our attorney for many years Mike McCullough."