CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - After waiting more than a year, community members in Cairo, Illinois are anticipating a new grocery store.
On Monday, the owners opened the doors for a meet and great with the community and council members from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; also, serving food.
People in the community came out to witness this initial phase of Harvest Market Place.
A member of the Cairo community, Beverly Davis, was ready to have a place to shop for food and produce.
"I'm not the only one. I guess the whole town is excited. The whole community is excited and we haven't had a store in a while, so we need this," Davis explained.
Not just any store, but a grocery store the community has been without for over a year. The mayor, Tyrone Coleman, said it's something most people may take for granted.
"There will be no doubt of the support the store will get because people have gone through a segment of time where they have been without."
Since December of 2015, the community has been without a grocery store after the closing of Wonder Market, which the mayor said was in business for 80 years.
People living in Cairo have to travel to Cape Giradeau or Sikeston, Missouri, all places that are at least 30 miles away just to get fresh produce. Some people mentioned Wickcliffe or Mounds as other options outside the area dollar store.
In the last year, a lot has changed thanks to a conversation with Senator Dick Durbin.
Harvest Market Place is owned by Sterling Moody and his partner Charles Bussey.
"This was a Senator Dick Durbin project. He actually called us in St Louis, had us to come down and take a look at the opportunity and we just been working for about a year," Moody said.
Moody explained this project was bigger than food.
"A kid not only see Michael Jordan dunking a basketball, they need to see entrepreneurship, they need to see leadership. They need to say, 'Wow, I can do that also.'"
Monday is just the first part of the process, the demolition. Once these walls are down and the place is gutted out, next comes the architecture, design and drawing.
One community member, Harriet Payton, said "So I'm just glad…and happy…I am so happy. That one day it's going to be here."