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Fareway to open store in Rockwell City

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
Cars filled the parking lot of the Fareway store at First Avenue South and 12th Street Monday evening in Fort Dodge. Rockwell City Mayor Phil Heinlen reported Monday that Fareway will build a smaller store in his community late this year. He said the store will be a new model for the supermarket chain.

ROCKWELL CITY — Fareway will open a small supermarket in Rockwell City, a town that hasn’t had a grocery store since 2019, Mayor Phil Heinlen said Monday.

“We needed a grocery store bad,” he said.

Construction of the new store is expected to start no later than July, he said, with a March 2022 opening date anticipated.

At just short of 11,000 square feet, it will be smaller than the typical Fareway store. Heinlen described it as a “test model.”

“It will have everything the one in Fort Dodge does, just not as much,” he added.

The new store will be located on Old Highway 20, just west of Sunnyview Independent Living.

A call seeking comment from Fareway corporate headquarters was not returned Monday.

Rockwell City lost its last grocery store in December 2019, when Heartland Market closed. It was one of multiple stores that were shuttered by the small Heartland Market chain around that time. The chain’s other local stores were in Gowrie, Manson and Rolfe.

Grocery stores have reopened in Gowrie and Manson, but neither of them are part of a large chain like Fareway.

Heinlen said Fareway was the first company he called upon learning that the local store was closing. He said he talked with Fareway leaders on and off throughout 2020.

The Rockwell City government will be taking some steps to make the new supermarket possible. It will buy the land for the store and give it to Fareway. It will also hire a company to plow the snow in the store’s parking lot for the first few years.

Tax incentives will also be awarded.

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