ALTAMONT, Kan. — A southeast Kansas man is making sure people in a rural community don’t have to travel far to get the items they need.
I will takes us to Altamont for the story.
Marvin Jones, MJ’s Market Owner, says, “You got to have businesses locally or the town dies eventually.”
Roughly six years ago, the city of Altamont said goodbye to their last grocery store.
“People that had it before decided to close it up and no body decided to put one back in.”
This turned the city into a food desert.
With limited options, people had to drive miles out of town in order to have access to fresh food.
Chris Drumm, Altamont Resident, says, “Especially for the older people in town, it was really bad.”
“It’s about 10 or 20 miles to the nearest grocery store or Wal-Mart.”
Christa Coulter, Altamont Resident, says, “I mean I drive all the way to Parsons to get all my stuff.”
Altamont Native, Marvin Jones wanted to fix this problem.
He got to work using his knowledge as a businessman to bring MJ’s market, to life.
“We decided to buy the place and figured Altamont needed a grocery store.”
“This is where I’ve been raised and born and you just want to give back a little bit.”
“We just took it slow and remodeled the inside and got things to where it was back up and running.”
While it’s still in the beginning stages, Jones hopes the store can also support the local economy.
Most of the produce is sourced by farmers from around Altamont and the eventual deli in the store will do the same with meat.
“You know you’re helping small businesses, we got a lot of farmers that sell stuff out of their house to help make things meet and everything and it’s nice to have something here to involve everybody.”
“A lot of people are talking about it and they’re very excited to not have to drive out of town to go get food.”
“Locally supported things are the best and that’s how things grow to be better is that we support our local farmers and growers.”
Reporting in Altamont, Steffen Reals, KSN local news.