Gowrie shows how to save a rural grocery store
When the prospects for keeping a grocery store open in Gowrie seemed very dim, the people that live there set out to do something about the problem and do it fast.
The result is easy to see when anyone walks into Market on Market and sees the fully loaded shelves and coolers that await shoppers.
But at the beginning of the year, the prospects for getting even a loaf of bread at the local grocery store were not looking good. Jamboree Foods, as it was then called, seemed likely to close.
To save the store, citizens rallied during a January public meeting. The idea of forming a business entity and raising money to buy the store from then owner Nick Graham was introduced. Former Mayor Dave Stokesbary really got things rolling when he declared that he had bet on ”uglier horses” and was all in on the grocery store concept.
In 10 days, $250,000 was raised for the new Gowrie Grocery LLC. To raise $250,000 in 10 days in a town of about 1,000 people is incredible. That feat showed just how determined the people of Gowrie are to keep their grocery store.
A lot of nitty-gritty detail work followed. Larry Roper was hired as manager. The building was cleaned, repaired and stocked with food and beverages. The store welcomed its first customers on last month.
In about four months, a new grocery store was created, which is another astonishing feat the people of Gowrie should be proud of.
The Gowrie community has provided a shining example for all other rural communities threatened with the loss of a grocery store.
We encourage the people of Gowrie and surrounding areas to shop at Market on Market often to ensure it remains a viable part of the city for years to come.
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