CALHOUN, Ky. (WEHT) It’s been more than a year after two IGA stores closed in McLean County, causing some shoppers to drive far to buy groceries.
A new store, offering some of the daily kitchen staples, has now opened near one of the closed locations.
The old IGA store building in Calhoun still sits empty. The Big Oak General Store, just a block away, is starting to fill up.
“Our goal is to start with items that people needed for fresh meals that night for dinner and just start expanding from there, and also to help our local produce farmers,” says co-founder James Perkins, who helped open the store earlier this month at an old law office.
It sells vegetables, coffee, and canned foods so far. He and his family started it after running a farmers market for three years, and seeing a need for a grocery store closer to home.
“There’s a lady that rides her bike that doesn’t have a license. I see her going down to the dollar store every day. One thing she said to us, because we also go to church with her, is the dollar store can only provide so much,” he says.
“It’s been a hardship for them having to add a little time driving to a town getting an item that you need when you normally can just run down to the corner to get,” adds Daniel Goodwin, who works in Calhoun. he says the store is helpful for him and his co-workers if they have to work longer hours than expected.
“We’ll need a few items we need to pick up real quick. Tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage,” he says.
While the store is in this old law office so far, Perkins says he has plans to expand the store slowly through the rest of the building, giving them more room to add more products.
“For now, each office space is going to be a different department, just like you have in a grocery store. As things progress, next year, we’re hoping to start knocking down walls and opening up the space,” Perkins says.
(This story was originally published on August 14, 2019)