JESUP, Iowa (KWWL) – Many in Jesup are rallying to bring a grocery store to town.
Ten days ago, the Jesup Economic Development Foundation put out a call for support to bring a new grocer to town, so far they’ve raised at least $25,000 as a sign of support. The president of the foundation said they’re just giving people what they want.
“People of the community want certain things and a grocery store was number one,” said Todd Rohlfsen, JEDF’s president.
He’s talking about an online survey that 800 residents filled out back in April that asked them how Jesup could improve. Once the votes for and against were combined, the top choice was adding a grocery store.
Ironically, the results were posted a day after the only grocery store in town closed.
“We’ve got all the basics that we need, right now we just don’t have a grocery store,” said Rohlfsen.
He said after the results were released, one thing led to another and JEDF began talks with a grocery chain interested in coming to town.
“We feel that there is enough opportunity here for someone to come in and run the store maybe a little differently, different management style,” said Rohlfsen.
He said he didn’t want to point fingers or pass blame. He said the changing of owners is a natural progression.
“It’s been a grocery store since 1963. It’s had 3 owners,” said Rohlfsen.
Rohlfsen says Jesup is growing with roughly 500 residents moving to town within the last decade.
“I’d like to think that we’re doing it right and that we have something to offer to anyone who wants to live here or move their business here,” said Rohlfsen.
The money raised would go toward a down payment to acquire the building.
An announcement on the project is expected later this week. No grocery chain has been officially named just yet.