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Market on Market wins Strong Communities Award

GOWRIE — After successfully fighting off the permanent closure of Gowrie’s only grocery store, Market on Market has won the Strong Communities Award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines via Heartland Bank, a local member.

Thanks to a collaboration of community partners that helped raise $250,000 in 10 days to save Gowrie’s only grocery store, Market on Market has won $15,000 for Gowrie.

The prize money will go to the Gowrie Development Commission for future development projects within Gowrie, according to Kevin Black, president and CEO of Heartland Bank.

“We appreciate all the effort everyone did with voting and putting the application together,” Black said. “It was a community-wide effort, and we’re proud to have received the award.”

The project was open to a public online vote last week, competing with several other finalists. The annual award honors projects, people and programs that promote local small business growth and retention.

“When our internal panel was narrowing a list of finalists, we were impressed with Market on Market and its mission,” said Kris Williams, president and CEO of FHLB Des Moines. “We are excited to be able to support this project as it reflects the commitment of FHLB Des Moines to finding ways to improve their member communities.”

Amid a string of closures in rural Calhoun and Webster counties, Market on Market successfully bucked the trend and has led the way with a non-profit model being watched by Manson, which has been without a grocery store since November 2019.

Market on Market opened in April, about a month after the old Jamboree Foods, owned by Nick Graham, officially closed. The rest of Graham’s local chain, Heartland Markets, followed suit, leaving several rural communities in northern Iowa to drive a substantial distance to get food.

The effort all started with a groundswell meeting held in Heartland Bank’s community room in January, where hundreds packed in to put their money where their mouths were.

Manson has since raised more than $170,000 for the effort to revive its store.

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