Small Town Grocers

By Mike Johnson

I visited civilization in March. I hadnít fired up the SUV for over a month so what the heck. I toured three grocery stores in my county. Which, other than Walmart, is all of them.

I love grocers. The more mom & pop, the better. Itís cultural heritage on a shelf. Gold Medal. Quaker Oats. Aunt Jemima.

Unfortunately, weíre down to two mom & pops.

One of them doesn't get much business. It just changed owners so there is new energy. A remodel is scheduled. Perhaps this gives us more time.

Itís a tough business.

Albertsonís is our most upscale grocer. Most urban (if a town of 10,000 can be). Most mask-wearers.

My favorite mom & pop has the least pizzazz. It's the slow one. Most rural. Least mask-wearers. It's 50 miles & three grocers away but these are my people.

Small grocers are packing it in at an alarming rate. In many small towns across America, the grocer is the last hive of activity & community. For them, the next closest grocer is some big box chain 30 miles away.

The homogenization of rural America marches on.


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