Rural grocer reinvests in community's future

“Wanting good, Tim,” stated a buyer pushing a cart down the newly polished flooring in Appleton’s grocery retailer final week.

Retailer house owners Tim and Jodi Dittes are listening to that so much today as they full a serious improve to the group’s grocery retailer. They’ve changed all of its refrigerated show instances with power-environment friendly, closed-door models. And, they’ve put in power-environment friendly LED lighting all through.

The shop’s new setting is brighter and extra open, with large purchasing aisles and extra open space because of a choice to shorten the size of the aisles with the brand new show shelving.

It began with a choice to exchange the instances for the deli and recent and processed meats, and grew from there, in line with Tim Dittes. An incentive program provided by the Minnesota Division of Employment and Financial Improvement by means of the town of Appleton to companies that reinvest locally made it potential to tackle the most important challenge, pouring concrete over a flooring space roughly the dimensions of two NBA basketball courts.

“For a city this measurement, it is a fairly darn good retailer,” stated Tim Dittes, who ought to know. His household has been within the small-city grocery enterprise since 1977, when his father, Don, bought this retailer. Tim and Jodi Dittes now function grocery shops in Appleton, Dawson, Minn., and three rural communities in Iowa: Laurens, Sac Metropolis and Ida Grove.


One of the speedy challenges of operating rural groceries is discovering assist, Tim Dittes stated. The Appleton retailer presently has 17 staff, however ought to have 20, he stated.

Rural retailer house owners in Minnesota stated competitors from giant chain grocery shops, excessive working prices, and slender revenue margins symbolize main challenges to their companies, in line with a 2015 survey of rural grocery retailer house owners by the College of Minnesota Extension.

There’s loads of competitors for the Dittes household, with a Greenback Basic retailer situated on the town and chain grocery shops present in regional facilities inside an hour’s drive.

Appleton, inhabitants 1,412, presents its personal challenges too. It has an ageing inhabitants and a better proportion of low-revenue residents than many communities, famous Dittes.

The closing of the Prairie Correctional Facility in 2010 was definitely felt on the retailer, he added. It as soon as employed 365 individuals, with eighty five of them itemizing Appleton addresses, in accordance with info from the town-county partnership looking for its reopening.

Dittes stays hopeful the privately owned jail will…

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