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New Kiester grocery store set to open

By Staff | Oct 27, 2013

A group in Kiester held a meeting which began with them saying, ‘we’ve done it before, we can do it again.’

Now four months later, they can say they’ve done it before and they have done it again. The community has banded together to reopen the grocery store in town.

Judy Meyer, a member of the organizing board for the Kiester Market, was happy to announce that the town will have a grocery store once again.

“We hope to have it open by the beginning of November,”?Meyer says.

The organizing board formed in October of last year found they needed at least $60,000 to open the store, after doing research.

So, in June they went to the community for help the same community that pulled together to keep other businesses open, such as the Kee Theatre, Kee Cafe and the old school building in Kiester.

“We raised $65,000 in pledges and donations,”?Meyer says.

She adds that in order for the market to be in good financial shape they were aiming to raise $90,000. But, now that they have the operating funds they can look into other professional venues for support, as well as grants from the state.

The illuminated signs on the side of the building that once read Jamboree Foods will be replaced with new ones.

“The new signs will say Kiester Market, with a tag line saying something along the lines of ‘proud to be community owned,'” Meyer explains.

And, it was thanks to the the people of the Kiester area that this was successful.

“This speaks very highly of our community,”?she adds. “And, not just the city of Kiester but the broader area.”

Not only have they come together to help financially they’ve been putting in a little elbow grease, as well.

“We have spent three days cleaning and re-doing the flooring,” Meyer says. “That was all done by volunteers.”

Once the cosmetic updates are complete they will get to work on other necessary changes to make it a full-line grocery store.

“There’s been a lot of interest in having a full meat market,”?Meyer adds. “And, we will be able to do that.”

Mason Brothers, a company out of Wadena, will be the distributor for the Kiester Market once they open.

Employees will have to be in place but one person has already been hired, Jim Durfee.

Durfee will be the store manager and is from Minnesota Lake. He will be the one hiring the employees from here.

And while there is a lot of work to be done between now and November when they hope to open, they also ad to do plenty of work to get to this point.

“We had to get the word out which we did through the local newspapers and a lot of signage around town,”?Meyer says.

She goes on to say many of the people were from town or the areas surrounding Kiester, but they also received support from other areas.

“Some pledges and donations came from family members of those who live in Kiester, people who grew up in Kiester or people who just wanted to support us,”?she says.

They plan to continue accepting memberships and donations and will hold more fundraisers.

“People are still welcome to help out,” Meyer adds.

So, while having a grocery store back in town will be convenient for people living in the area, it is much more than that.

“Having Kiester Market means so much to the city,”?Meyer says. “This will have a positive effect on the future of the town.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member or donating to the cause can contact Meyer at (507) 294-7522.