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Going the Extra Step to Meet all the Community's Needs

Author: Ken Tucker

The Independent View

Ken Tucker 2

Going the Extra Step to Meet all the Community's Needs  

 December 11, 2012 

 

Here at Evergreen Market IGA, we service a pretty small area. There are only about 3,500 people in our town, and most of them are family, friends and neighbors. And since the nearest store is more than 25 miles away, they depend on us for pretty much all their daily needs. So when it comes down to it, I guess our philosophy is simple: We try to be the friendly hometown grocery that provides everything our shoppers need.

We already carry a wide variety of CPG and IGA Brand products in our stores, but to fulfill our philosophy, we also have to be willing to go the extra step. When shoppers come in and are looking for something special, we do everything we can do to get it. The good news is that we find most everything is available through our wholesaler, and also that if we begin promoting those new products as soon as they come in, pretty soon other shoppers jump on board and buy them as well.

Of course, being a one-stop-shop for all community needs means we do a lot more than simply sell groceries. Despite the fact that our store is a fairly small format, our bakery and deli are far more extensive than those in the major chains in neighboring towns, so our bakery and deli are used for just about every wedding and event our town has. Just that simple service has done a lot to connect us to the community—we're included in every major event in these people's lives, so they think of us like family.

Because we're so close to our shoppers, we're also extremely committed to supporting our community. Sometimes that means getting involved in the politics of local issues—like when my wife headed a committee last year that kept our local school afloat by combining it with a nearby charter school—and sometimes it simply means giving back and being involved with everything from high school sports to anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs at the local elementary to hosting fundraisers for the fire department.

Evergreen Tucker IGA 2012

The way we see it, we have a responsibility to this community. That means we carry hay and animal feed for the farmers, supply products and prepared foods for the dinner table, and do everything we can to make this community a better place to live—and we do it all while pretending that there's a Safeway right across the street. To me, that's what IGA is all about—being the best not because you're the only store around, but because you try the hardest!

Thanks,

Ken Tucker