GOWRIE GROCERY STORE
Several members of the community have stepped up to raise funds to form a new entity to purchase and create a community grocery store! The goal was to raise $250,000 very quickly to purchase the building, contents, fixtures, freezers and inventory of the existing store as well as have working capital to move forward with the new business.
The fact that the community can raise these funds in less than 10 days is absolutely outstanding! There are still a lot of moving parts to this process and money is still being accepted as we continue to work through this!
Funds are still being accepted by mailing a check to Gowrie Grocery LLC, PO Box 42, Gowrie, Iowa 50543.
WHY IS A GROCERY STORE IMPORTANT TO GOWRIE?
Gowrie offers a huge variety of amenities to attract people to the community: parks, golf course, swimming pool, skating rink, child care center, service and retail businesses, healthcare, fiber to the home high speed internet, and so much more!
Like most small towns the local grocery is a cornerstone to the downtown. It brings people from the surrounding area into our town to shop and is a competitive draw for home buyers and homeowners. It is critical to the local food pantry and elderly residents that don't travel out of town often. It even affects local businesses and restaurants for daily supplies.
A food desert? From Gowrie the closest grocery stores includes traveling 13 miles east to Dayton (a small community owned grocery), 20 miles north to Fort Dodge, 22 miles south to Jefferson or 23 miles west to Lake City (another locally owned grocery). Although it would seem easy distance for commuting to work it can be difficult for others.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The Gowrie community has been fortunate to have had the store run locally for decades by the Petersen family. When then owner, Jeff Petersen, decided to retire it took time to find a buyer. There was concern at that time that the store would close. Local leaders were pleased to learn that an existing grocery store owner was interested. Having owned six other locations the future looked bright!
Until it didn't. Stores within the new Heartland Market chain began closing with little or no notice to customers. Concerns escalated in December with the nearby closings of the Manson and Rockwell City stores leaving neighboring Calhoun County with only one grocery store.
When a small group of people got together they contacted the owner about interest in selling the store. Working quickly and with no time to find a prospective new business owner, a community meeting was held on January 6, 2020 and the group suggested a plan of action if money could be raised. The goal is to raise $250,000 by January 15th. With a huge crowd and standing room only it is evident that the support of the community is positive.
Pictured below, approximately 150 people were in attendance at the community meeting held in Gowrie, a town with a population of just over 1,000.
GOWRIE GROCERY LLC
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gary Kuhn, President
Karl Streit, Vice President
Marsha Farnham, Secretary
Kathy Carlson, Treasurer
Larry Roper of Newton, formerly of Lohrville, will be available for the reset and reopening of the new Gowrie Grocery. It is estimated the group will close on the purchase of the property mid March.
Donations are still being accepted and LLC shares are available.