Elwood Grocery Store Opens Up - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Elwood Grocery Store Opens Up

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As rural communities struggle to keep businesses, in Elwood the opening of a new grocery store will bring in new life to the town.

After a year of an empty building from the former grocery store closing, the community stepped up and help to open this cooperative.

"It's like a dream come true," said Phyllis Dunlop with the store board of directors.

"It's very very nice, very clean, everything is new," said store manager Mike Burkink.

"It's very important that we have a market here in town," said Gary Bodenheimer a member of the Elwood Chamber of Commerce.

At the crack of dawn Evelyn Bogle made sure she was the first customer to spend her dollars at the brand new store.

"Wow, it's great," said Bogle.

After a year of struggles of not having a grocery store to shop at in town, Elwood residents felt the pinch in the pockets to travel many miles to grab some groceries.

"For the last year everybody was having to go some distance," said Bodenheimer.

"It's been very difficult. It's cost a lot of stress on young families and especially the elderly people," said Dunlop.

Many community members in Elwood put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that this store will stay in the town to help spur on that economic growth.

"When you have a good business area everything is going to prosper. Home values will go up, your school will benefit by it, tax dollars will come in better," said Burkink.

"It's a drawing point for the city when people come in you tell them hey we have a really nice little market here that you don't have to drive a long ways to get to," said Bodenheimer.

"We need it to be here forever," said Bogle.

The store didn't reach their fundraising goal yet. People are still donating and buying shares. They are about $500 a piece.

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