City of Cairo set to welcome back grocery store after 7 years

After nearly 7 years without a grocery store, the city of Cairo is expected to welcome one back before the end of the year.
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) -After nearly seven years without a grocery store, the City of Cairo is expected to welcome one back before the end of the year.

As I spoke to residents today in this community, there was false hope after false hope that a grocery store was coming to town. Now, leaders with this project say it’ll be opening in a matter of time.

“It’s very difficult when you start talking about fresh fruit, produce, meat, those basic necessities that you can’t get locally even if you need something late In the evening it’s still not going to be there for you. So you’re going to have to travel that 7 or 35 miles to get it,” said Cairo resident, Gabrielle Harris.

Harris has lived in town for 22 years. He tells me for the last 7 years he’s traveled to Kentucky or Missouri to get his groceries.

“So not to have a grocery store has a major impact not only on the economy but on the health of the local people,” said Harris.

Steven Tarver is on the Sub committee for the grocery store. He’s worked on bringing a store back to town for the last 6 years.

“Right now to have the plan along was great, but to be sitting on the sub committee and seeing it actually grow from a plan to now we’re talking about going inside and staring to remodel and build and bring in freezers and all that and I’m really elated about the opportunity,” said Tarver.

Tarver says a grocery store is a game changer for the community of Cairo.

“So just to be able to say hey we have a grocery store, I can get fresh produce, I can get fresh vegetables, I can get fresh meat. Is going to be a huge impact on our community,” said Tarver.

This grocery store will be a co-op style. It’ll be located in the old Subway building on the main strip. Since it is a co-op style, that means residents will hold ownership.

“We have ownership also in this place. So we’ll take care of it, they’ll be less vandalism, because you have ownership. It tends that if you own something you take care of it and you want it to be growth. So this may be just the first of many rise in the community change in our community,” said Tarver.

“We have an element of home here. This has been so many grocery stores, in the past decades in Cairo. So obviously we wanted to keep it to where people are familiar and fortunately this was one of the buildings that was available,” said Steering Committee Member of the grocery store, Marcella Woodson.

Many residents say they have heard it before, but Harris says it’s a reality.

“I know that in the past there have been promises made and it’s been difficult to really get to see any of those in fruition. Now I think that you have the right people at the table, I think this will happen and I think it’ll happen pretty soon,” said Harris.

According to leaders of the grocery store, it is set to open in the late Fall or early Winter.