A recent USDA report shows the percentage of grocery sales from the nation's top 20 retailers more than doubled from 1990 to 2020, while the consolidation was more pronounced in rural areas."

Yet most small towns residents want a local grocery. Bonderson explains, "For about five years, Emerson, Nebraska, pop. 824, had no grocery, leaving residents to drive at least 20 miles for a full-service grocer. Then last year, the community came together to support a new co-op. . . . . Post 60 Market moved into the old American Legion building. . . . . Manager Brian Horak said the village of people invested nearly $160,000 in the store. . . . . Investors receive discounts, dividends and elect a board of directors each year to oversee large financial decisions." Horak told Bonderson, "With being a co-op and so many people bought in – it's like you got multiple owners who have just as much commitment to see this thing succeed."

Read the full article about rural grocery stores by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.