I get asked this a lot.
(If you’ve been following our progress the last couple of years, then you may remember that that I USED to get asked “What the sam-hell are you thinking?” LOL How far we’ve come)
Anyway – So I was asked if we are going to open more. And I said my usual “I think everyone, every town, should have access and options for getting quality food.”
And the reply was “aren’t you worried that someone may take your business model and open up other stores and be in competition with you?”
And I laughed. (If you know me and you’ve ever heard one of my huge big laughs, then you know just how loud I am. This one time the girls and I were in a movie theater watching “Planes” <oh god. don’t get me started on what a lame movie this was. It was basically Cars with airplanes. I can’t believe I spent money on it. And it’s time I will NEVER get back.> Anyway – it’s one redeeming joke was about how there should be a slogan for corn. CORN! It Gives You GAS! It caught me off-guard. And I laughed so loud that to this day the kids still tease me about it. I digress)
So I laughed. Loudly. And said “You mean that perhaps I should be worried that someday in the future, my little hometown, and other rural towns might have the terrible dilemma of not only NOT being a food desert anymore, but might have multiple choices of where to buy quality food? Bring it on. Because this is a problem I would love to have. Where the conversations are no longer about how to get food to local people, but instead about the abundance that is available.”
The Center for Rural Affairs has known about local grocery stores and their importance for years. This is one of my favorite excerpts from their website:
If you live in a rural community, you understand that our grocery store is arguably one of the most important businesses in town. Our store means more than just ready access to healthy food. Rural grocery stores provide jobs and generate tax revenue. Without a local grocery, the revenue that our food purchases generate goes elsewhere.
Having a grocery store also helps attract new residents to a town. Similar to a school, a post office, restaurants and churches, a grocery store makes a community a more attractive place to live. Grocery stores can also be social places where you run into neighbors in the produce aisle, introduce yourself to someone new in town, or catch up on local happenings with the cashier.
And as much as I love The Center for Rural Affairs and The Butter Churn – I will admit – neither one are flashy. We do not have a catchy theme song. However, I am partial to the logos. And hands-down I love and believe in the philosophies.
Fortunately their are other people who are helping us get our name out there. Because of the Henry County Economic Development – you may have seen a big fancy ad for us this week. And if you are on the FaceBooks – you’ll begin to see ads for us there too. And – In January’s issue of The Radish – you’ll be able to check out an interview/story about The Butter Churn. I am grateful that other people have some marketing skills so we can do what we do best – running a store, building community, supporting other small local family business, and having a place where you know that the food you buy is food we would feed our families. For real.