MT. PULAKSIA, Ill. (WCIA) — Several years ago, Mt. Pulaski lost its only grocery store, but some determined farmers and local citizens organized to correct that problem.
Those farmers on Mt. Pulaski’s economic development committee decided their home-grown food could stock a grocery store. It’s been open for a year now, with well-stocked shelves, says one of those farmers, Shaun Tyson
“We’ve definitely expanded our selection,” says Tyson. “Sam’s done a great job filling the store with local food. Local wines, and deli, and particularly our baked goods that you see in the cabinet behind you. Have been really, really popular. So nobody walks out of here without a baked good. Look, behind you, those have been very popular along with the local produce and meats.”
WCIA: Now, that local produce and meats, that’s interesting because people in the community are supplying their own grocery store.
“The best part about this I think is the opportunity this gave local farmers to scale up, so you’ve got a couple of local farmers, whether it’s a produce guy or a beef guy like myself we took our farms to a profitable level where it’s a profitable enterprise,” Tyson says.
WCIA: The people who come through Mt. Pulaski, maybe to see historical things, they might find this being pretty interesting and pop in for a bottle of local wine or something.
“Right, so I think one of the biggest things here is they feel like we’ve got that general store feel, right when you walk in, it’s a shotgun building with your produce and meat on one side and grocery items on the other. And I think that experience that people have when they come to look at our museum or our courthouse on the square, we’re just a natural fit for them to come in and grab some wine, like you said, or some local stuff or maybe even a souvenir t-shirt like we had a guy from Chicago, he came in and got one of those so he could go back and tell all his friends, I went to that place in Mt. Pulaski.”