WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published January 16, 2012, 08:10 PM

After 7 Months Without One, Minnewaukan, ND, Gets Grocery Store

MINNEWAUKAN, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Residents of one Lake Region community no longer have to leave town to get gas and groceries.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

MINNEWAUKAN, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Residents of one Lake Region community no longer have to leave town to get gas and groceries.

For seven months, people in Minnewaukan had to travel 20 miles to get a loaf of bread.

But now they're saying a new grocery store is bringing food, jobs and life back to their hometown.

People have not only been getting groceries at Spirit Water Gas and Grocery, they've been giving thanks.

"Well we've just had people coming in, telling us 'thanks you,' hugging our necks, buying a lot of bread, milk and eggs, the things that the town's really been lacking," general manager Joanna Potss said.

It's been seven months since Minnewaukan residents had a local grocery store. When Natasha Christensen moved to town three months ago, she was worried she might not be able to get supplies for her three kids.

"I felt a little shut down moving into a town where there wasn't much available. I was like 'wait a minute. What am I doing here?'" Christensen said.

Spirit Water Inn owner Glen Delorme saw the need for a grocery store. It opened Saturday, after months of planning.

"Completely excited!" Christensen said.

The store offers the only gas and groceries in town, and boosts Minnewaukan's other businesses.

"We all realize that the more business that we have and the more things that we have to offer to the community and tourists that visit this town, the better for everybody," Potts said.

It also brings jobs during tough economic times. Grocery clerk Shay Walking Eagle says he probably wouldn't have a job if the store didn't offer him one in town.

"I would have been still at home with my mom," Walking Eagle said.

Potts says there should be more than enough business to support the store, even in a town of barely 200, which would be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

"We had a boom day on Saturday and Sunday. So our first couple of days are off and running and we're just really looking forward to being able to provide this service to the people of Minnewaukan," Potts said.

Potts says the store has had about 60 customers since it opened Saturday afternoon, which is pretty good considering they haven't even had their grand opening ceremony yet.