Heartland grocery story dealing with broken cooler ahead of Thanksgiving

Cairo grocery store issues ahead of Thanksgiving.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:28 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:24 PM CST
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) - Grocery stores are prepared for a busy week as people grab the items they need for their Thanksgiving meal, but one Heartland grocery story is dealing with more than just a holiday rush.

They’re having issues with an important piece of equipment.

“We’re trying to make sure we’ve got all the items that anyone could need for Thanksgiving,” said Robert Edwards, general manager of the Rise Community Market

It’s the first big holiday for the Rise Community Market in Cairo, Illinois.

It opened in June, providing a grocery store in the small town for the first time in years.

Edwards said they’ve been stocking the shelves, so customers can get what they need for Thursday.

“We have tried really hard to be in stock in the items that you might need for Thanksgiving,” he said. “We try really hard to make sure that we have good pricing on the items wherever possible and some items were comparable to the big major chains.”

As many gear up for that Thanksgiving feast, the University of Illinois Extension Office is giving Cairo residents some easy food tips.

“It’s convenient to have a grocery store in town, we’ve waited for seven years. It’s really nice if you run out of something, run out of bread or eggs or milk or something just to be able to come here and grab it locally and to not have to drive so far. We’re having to drive at least 35-45 minutes sometimes an hour to get to somewhere to get some groceries,” said Sarita Sawyer, community outreach worker for U of I extension.

Their first Thanksgiving open is coming with challenges. The store is down two coolers, with one of those coolers holding most of their refrigerated food.

“So we’re using a temporary cooler up there to house most of our produce items in it. And then our walk-in cooler in the back actually went down on us. We lost everything that was in it actually, it went down in the middle of the night,” said Edwards.

Edwards said it would cost $7,000 to replace their walk-in cooler.

Despite the setback, the grocery story is working to spread the holiday cheer with their community.

“We’ve done a good job at trying to make sure that your holiday needs can be met here and you don’t have to worry about those big lines and the big fights that you’ll have and getting through the crowds,” said Edwards.

The Rise Community Market will be closed on Thanksgiving, but they’re extending their hours on Wednesday to 9 p.m.

They also have a GoFundMe to help raise money for their new coolers. That can be found here.