JACKSON – Running a business is tough enough for most independent owners but when you have a devastating event beyond your control that interrupts and damages your building, starting back up might seem insurmountable.
That didn’t stop the owners and staff of Glory’s Discount Market Inc. from doing just that. The landmark grocery store recently reopened after months of repairs and recovery from what workers there described as the sound of a bomb going off on Nov. 1, 2018.
That was the day when a truck with an attached trailer plowed into the market. It all started when a 17-year-old driver was attempting to turn left onto West Commodore Boulevard but wound up driving into the path of a tractor trailer that was traveling south on Cedar Swamp Road through the intersection. It caused a three-car crash that injured four people and caused severe damage to the market.
The driver, a resident of Jackson, was issued a summons for careless driving and failure to yield the right of way according to police reports. The driver of the truck was injured. A 69-year-old store patron was also hospitalized following the incident. Staff of the market also sustained injuries but the workers have healed and returned and the building that they worked in has been repaired to the relief of their many long-time patrons.
George and Clara Glory, owners of the market, were inside the building when it all happened. “I don’t really remember, it was just that I knew there was a loud sound. It sounded like a small bomb,” Clara Glory told The Jackson Times on Nov. 5, 2018. “You just heard crashing and the walls of the office were being pushed into us.”
The deli section of the market was destroyed in the crash. The repairs show no trace of the prior damage and George has said that the business is the same “but better now.”
“It is wonderful to be back. We reopened on March 2. There was no question that we’d reopen. My father started out with a chicken farm,” George Glory said on Good Friday as workers were busy assisting customers with their holiday orders.
He recalled the day of the accident while sitting in his office where the nearby deli case had been pushed through the wall. “My wife and I were in here at the time. I had cracked ribs and my knee blew out. I went over the case and saw that it was a real mess. One of my employees saw the truck as it crashed inside and jumped out of the way. It was around 12:30 p.m. a busy time here.
“Thankfully we had no deaths but four people were hurt. I am amazed the driver survived but he came back here hours later after he went to the hospital,” George Glory said.
The market was founded during a time when chicken farms were prevalent around the township. The Glory’s Best Broilers were well known by Jackson residents.
When George’s father died in 1967, George and his brother Walter were still in college. They took over the business in 1973 after they graduated.
Glory said that while his insurance covered most of the expenses the bills are still coming in. “Our employees and customers have given us a lot of support. People kept asking how long it would be until we came back, two weeks a month or what? We did alright.”
Glory’s Market was even open on Easter Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those who needed some last-minute holiday items or simply a gallon of milk.
Butcher Mark Motyka, Toms River, had worked for the market part-time for seven years before the accident. He said he was happy to be back and that the interruption of work was a bit of a mixed blessing.
“I had some money saved up so I lived off that and got to spend more time with my family. I’m retired but now I’m working here full time. I was not injured as I was outside of the blast zone. I always worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas as those are busy times in the meat department so I spent that time with my family instead.”
Motyka added that he was happy to see customers new and old return to the market. He noted that a newly opened development in the township has provided new customers for Glory’s Market.
“More people are coming in and our regular customers…well they missed us,” Motyka said.