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La Crosse Celebrates the Grand Re-Opening of its Grocery Store with State and Local Support

Jun 02, 2023

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b's hometown market

When the La Crosse grocery store closed in August of 2022, Rush County Economic Development jumped to action to restore this critical service in their county. Brad Penka let us know that, with its closing, it left the entire county without a grocery store within a 25-mile radius and would be a huge burden on the families of La Crosse and Rush County. With the collaboration of many different entities and groups, a new owner was found, grants were applied for, funds were gathered, and we are excited to announce their Grand Re-Opening on March 1, 2023!

The Rush County Economic Development applied for and was awarded a TEFFI:SEED grant in the amount of $49,125. This grant was made possible by the Kansas Department of Commerce and is being managed in partnership with the Office of Rural Prosperity.

The Office of Rural Prosperity recommended that the group connect with the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative , a program that helps provide technical assistance and funding for healthy food retail projects in low-resource and underserved areas of the state.

It was a top priority of the new owners, Pat and Kelly Baalman to reopen a new and improved store that offers healthy food options for the residents of La Crosse and Rush County as quickly as possible. Multiple funding programs helped to create a funding package for the new owner that covered critical improvements such as new energy efficient equipment and store renovations to improve the aesthetics and accessibility for all store patrons.

“This re-opening is a direct result of the work that the Office of Rural Prosperity does to help rural communities when they experience such a community loss” said Trisha Purdon, Director of the Office of Rural Prosperity. “We are here to help assemble a team of resources to address problems quickly and make things happen.” As a result of this amazing collaboration of Rush County Economic Development, Tim Zimmerman of the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Office of Rural Prosperity, Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, K-State Research and Extension’s Rural Grocery Initiative, USDA, Network Kansas, and many other partnerships, “B’s Hometown Market” will be hosting a grand opening and ribbon mid March and we cannot wait to attend! 

Congratulations Rush County and La Crosse!