Forward Corp. announced today that it is acquiring Ideal Party Store’s two locations in Bay City, Mi.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Abby Moniz, president of Forward Corp. “Ideal Party Store has a rich history and is a well-respected name that aligns with what Forward is best known for.”

Ideal first opened in Bay City in 1934 and, like Forward, is family-owned and operated. The acquisition is for the location at 401 S. Salzburg Ave. as well as the 908 N. Johnston St. site. The Shamrock Dairy Bar, adjacent to the Johnson Street store, is also included in the acquisition.

“I’m thrilled we were able to find another local, family-owned and operated company to take over the Ideal operation,” said Ideal President Jerry Crete. “It was important to me that we found someone who shared our vision and values, and Forward was the perfect match.”

Crete, a third-generation owner and President since 1996 wanted to step back to spend more time with family and slow down after 42 years in the high-paced convenience and party store industry. He will remain on in a consulting role, focusing on his passions in beer, wine and spirits.

“This gives me an opportunity to step away from the administrative side of things and spend the majority of my time doing what I love,” Crete said. “I’m looking forward to helping with this transition to make sure our customers get the same Ideal experience they’ve come to expect.”

The customer experience at Ideal is expected to remain the same thanks to its familiar and knowledgeable team. Current Ideal employees will be welcomed to the Forward team, something Moniz said was vital to securing the agreement.

“The great people at Ideal were a big part of this acquisition,” Moniz said. “Their knowledge and experience in the industry is unmatched. Not only will they be staying on, but we look forward to learning from them, as well.”

The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks and will boost Forward’s convenience division to 31 locations, including 26 Shell and 3 Marathon convenience stores.