McCUNE — Fresh pies, produce and vegetables can be found at McCune’s new grocery store, The McCune Farm to Market.
The store was made possible by local farm couple, Kevin and Cherie Schenker. The couple’s farm is only a mile away from the grocery store which provides for some of the goods. The Schenkers also have sourced local food sellers for other goods their farm cannot provide.
The couple’s business began 10 years ago selling organically raised meat online, which are sold nationwide to individuals, grocers and United States Military personnel stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We know exactly how they are raised, we are certified all-natural, we are animal welfare certified,” Kevin Schenker said. “We are complete grass-fed operation and are governed from birth to slaughter.”
Friday morning was the grand opening for the grocery store after 25 years without one in the tiny farm town.
According to a release, the McCune area is considered a federally-designated food desert, which means residents have to drive more than 10 minutes to purchase groceries. The majority of Crawford County is a food desert, according to the release.
McCune community members, the mayor and other leaders gathered in support of the new grocery store during the ribbon cutting.
“This is a good opportunity to have local, fresh healthy food,” Crawford County Commissioner Jeff Murphy said. “People won’t have to travel a long distance to get groceries.
“It benefits community sales, tax revenue and property taxes. This also helps the city and county, along with opportunities for jobs for the community.”
The couple first broke ground for the new store in January, after years of thought about which goods to sell and the efficiency of the building.
The store has an energy-efficient build which makes running it less expensive than otherwise, Cherie Schenker said.
The grocery store has a western feel with its “car siding” ceilings, deer and horn decorations.
Kevin Schenker said thought was even put into the paint and many of the designs in the store were based on the Schenker family and employees’ input.
“When we were doing the redesign we were talking to all our employees — what can we do to make this more practical, more efficient and more user friendly,” he said.
The store and a little bar at which people can be served breakfast and lunch, brings what Cherie said gives people the “hometown feeling where everyone knows your name” — similar to back in the mid-70’s when McCune had two grocery stores.
“We wanted it to feel like grocery stores did when we were kids,” she said. “When you walked into the grocery store people greeted you by your first name because they were as much as part of the community as you are.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.