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“An anchor institution”: Emerson, Nebraska residents buy into grocery store’s return | Columnists: Nick Hytrek

EMERSON, Neb. — When the Post 60 Market grocery store opens soon in Emerson, the community literally will run the store.

If needed, many residents here just might be willing to work there for free. A number of them already have, showing up once, twice or three times to voluntarily unpack shipments of dry and canned goods and stock the shelves.

Emerson gets new grocery store

Gina Lawrence, below, and Fred Sebade stock shelves at the new Post 60 Market grocery store in Emerson, Neb. They’re among the numerous volunteers who have helped get the store ready for opening.

They’re thrilled to have a grocery store back in town and will do whatever it takes to make sure they’re not without one again.

“We have a lot of community support for it,” Emerson resident Mark Graf said. “It’s come together better than expected, and that’s exciting. But most of all, I’m excited to have a grocery store back in town.”

He and the rest of the 800 or so residents of this community, the only one in Nebraska to be located in three counties — Dakota, Dixon and Thurston.

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But since 2018, the number of greater importance here was 0, as in zero grocery stores in town after Mike’s Food Town closed.

“We went from having groceries in town to driving 20-30 minutes for the nearest groceries,” Graf said of the inconvenience everyone, especially elderly residents who have a harder time getting around, has experienced.

They won’t be making those drives to Pender, Wayne, West Point, South Sioux City or farther much longer.

As soon as the cash registers arrive, Post 60 Market could open, store manager Brian Horak said on a recent day when more than a dozen volunteers were helping him stock the shelves

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