Ma and Pa grocery stores make a comeback

Local family grocers are meeting the demand for local products (in Michigan)

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In West Michigan growing interest in homegrown products is providing a fertile economic soil for Ma and Pa grocery stores to flourish and this is also a very good thing indeed.

Ken Courts opened his second store in two years. The newest is Ken's Fruit Market on Plainfield Avenue, Grand Rapids. He says his niche is in buying local products.

Courts says, "I think the way the economy impacted everyone, they kinda realized, buying local is best, keep the money in the area."

Courts himself buys straight from the farmer and brings the produce into the store the same day during peak seasons.

Edward J. Kingma is finding success doing the same thing. Kingma, owner of Kingma's Market says, "There's a lot of interest in people supporting companies that are based here."

And it is that kind of interest that is helping Ma and Pa stores, and area producers continue to grow.

This “buying from local sources to sell to local people” is very much in keeping with the Transition Town Movement and others and this is the way that we all need to go again. The problem often is, though, that while it is possible to source produce and such like locally easy enough, directly from the farmers, other goods that people want and need are rarely made locally, often not even in the country.

Many such changes will have to be made if we want to be able to live and work comfortably in the future when fuel and thus transportation costs will be going through the roof, as they, no doubt will due to oil, cheap oil, becoming ever scarcer.

Things must be made “at home” again and with that I do not, necessarily, mean DIY at home and the homestead, but in the country, the state and the county. It used to be thus until not all that long ago and it must be that way again.

© 2012