Residents of Nauvoo have something to cheer about.
Thanks to the mobile Corner Market grocery – a 24-foot trailer – residents of this small town no longer must drive several miles to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Instead of setting aside time to drive to Carbon Hill or Jasper, Nauvoo’s residents can take advantage of their new “rolling grocery.” The traveling store will make life a lot easier for Nauvoo’s 200 residents, said Nauvoo Mayor Dwight Byram.
“I think it’s great because we’ve got so many elderly people here,” Byram said. “We’re in one of those little pockets of poverty here. It’s hard for our older people to get out and go shopping.”
Situated in Walker and Winston counties, Nauvoo in Hebrew means “to be comely.” Indeed, the addition of the new Corner Market to residents’ repertoire of grocery options is a beautiful thing.
Good prices drew Double Springs resident Amy Pearson to the Corner Market’s grand opening Aug. 9.
“We have only one grocery store, and it’s expensive,” said Pearson, who learned about the Corner Market from her brother-in-law in Nauvoo. “I think it’s a very good idea. I would come out here to shop.”
The Corner Market is a one-aisle grocery store, provided by the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and its partners. The mobile store offers fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy and dry goods at affordable prices. Like a regular grocery store, shoppers enjoy air-conditioned comfort while perusing the goods. Fruits and vegetables are on the right, while dry and packaged goods are mostly on the left aisle. A freezer near the cash register keeps meats and dairy products cold and fresh.
For Terry Burgett, the concept of a traveling grocery makes sense.
“This will keep me from having to travel to Jasper,” said Burgett, who moved to Nauvoo after living most of his life in Jefferson County. “Hopefully, this and the Dollar General will keep me going. This is convenient, and it looks like it’s decent prices.”
Cathy Keeton, who lives in nearby Lupton, attended the Corner Market’s grand opening with her friend Helen Mote. Keeton was pleased with the selection of food and even happier with the price: She paid about $14 and small change for a bag of groceries. Keeton stepped out of the Corner Market trailer with an armful of bread, lettuce, a pack of chicken, celery, bananas, tuna packets and boxes of macaroni and cheese.
“There’s nothing in Lupton,” Keeton said. “There’s a couple of gas stations. You have to go on to Jasper or Carbon Hill to shop.”
U.S. Army Veteran Ernest Wattenberger helped his wife shop.
“I think this is pretty neat,” Wattenberger said. “It’s something different.”
The Corner Market was an “out of the box” idea from the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and its partners, said Kathryn Strickland, executive director of the nonprofit. The traveling grocery store will stop in rural communities that do not have a full-service grocery within its borders.
The Corner Market will roll into Nauvoo every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Strickland said the Community Food Bank is aware that many Nauvoo residents lack reliable transportation, leaving them unable to shop for fresh produce and grocery items.
“People are very pleased,” Strickland said. “We’re passing on the food at cost. All the proceeds go to new food supplies for Corner Market and our efforts to expand this service into other communities. We are so thankful to our many partners.”
The project has broad community support and is made possible by grants from the Alabama Power Foundation, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Appalachian Regional Commission, Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Walker Area Community Foundation, Junior League of Birmingham’s Beeson Fund, Publix Super Markets Charities and the Hugh Kaul Foundation.
Mote, a retired nurse who is on the Nauvoo City Board for Parks and Recreation, is appreciative of the new shopping option.
“I like this,” she said. “I don’t have to go to Carbon Hill today.”