Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Cullom Grocery Store Expected to Open November 1

CULLOM -- Cullom residents have gone without a grocery store for more than a year, but a place where they can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat should be open by this fall. "This means that people will once again be able to get what they need right here in town without traveling," said Village President Margeurite Kross.

Carl Krause III, chairman of the board of Cullom Community Market Inc., said that the corporation recently purchased a store at 112 W. Hack St. for $27,000. The corporation is funded through shares sold to the community at $100 each. Krause said that they are currently in the process of refurbishing the site and it should be open by Nov. 1.

Officials are also working with distributors to stock the shelves. The store will primarily carry food, but other items such as dog food, toiletries and greeting cards will also be available.For 25 years, the building was home to Ommen Family Foods, operated by Bill and Joyce Ommen. The Ommens then retired a few years ago, and the store went through different owners but it was not successful.

The village of fewer than 700 people currently has a Casey's General Store, but they have to drive to different communities in order to purchase fresh food and other grocery items. After looking into various options, a group of residents decided that they would turn the grocery store into an investment opportunity. Krause said that they have received about $50,000 in investments, with a total of $110,000 pledged. "In a perfect world and in a perfect business model, there will be dividends like any other business," Krause said.

Although no exact projections have been established, Krause said that ideally, people would see a profit within the first year of operation. However, Krause said that village residents are not necessarily worried about making money from their investment. "Most of the people that I've talked to are not expecting a return," he said. "They just want to see the store open again."

(Source: The Pantagraph 9/8/09)

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