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Effort to save grocery store is worthy of award

Citizens of Gowrie demonstrated how it is done

Early this year, it looked as if Gowrie was going to lose its only grocery store, forcing residents to drive some extra miles for their food.

Following a major fundraising effort by local residents, the store, called Market on Market, is not only in business, it’s winning recognition.

The effort to restart the store has received the Strong Communities Award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. Heartland Bank, which is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank, sponsored the store’s entry.

The prize was $15,000, which was given to the Gowrie Development Commission to be invested in future community efforts.

This annual award honors projects, people and programs that promote local small business growth and retention.

The effort to restart Market on Market was a pretty exciting example of small business retention.

The former grocery store that occupied the spot where Market on Market is today was called Jamboree Foods. It closed in March. The people of Gowrie were not about to be left without a grocery store, so they got to work. Following a public meeting held at Heartland Bank, $250,000 was raised in a matter of days. Volunteers went to work inside the store, cleaning, painting and rearranging things. Market on Market opened in April with fully stocked shelves, including fresh fruits and vegetables that were scarce in the waning days of Jamboree Foods.

The people of Gowrie have put on a first class demonstration showing how a small rural community can save its grocery store. Another such example is progressing in Manson, where its community grocery store will open soon.

We congratulate the people in both towns for their work to reopen the stores. Every time the people of Gowrie and Manson buy some food in those stores, they will be grateful.

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