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By Carmen Ensinger
Greene County’s food dessert just got a little greener this week with the opening of the Market on Main on Monday, Nov. 1. The store is owned by Carrollton residents Jerry and Sue Schmidt, who also own the Grain Bin, and is located on the south side of the Carrollton Square next to the JCH Clinic.
Greene County was deemed a “food dessert” after Kroger closed both of its stores in White Hall and Carrollton back in May, leaving only one store, Meehan’s in Greenfield, to serve the entire county.
Triple J Meats opened in Roodhouse earlier this summer to serve the needs of the North Greene area and County Market set up a food trailer that delivered food twice a week from their Girard store to customers who ordered it online. But they pulled out a couple of weeks ago.
With already one successful business on the Carrollton Square, the Schmidt’s were asked why they decided to open another.
“Well, after the closing of Kroger and realizing that there was no place in town to get meat, produce and the different things that people need on a daily basis, we thought that we could sure use a place like that here in town,” Sue Schmidt said. “So that was our biggest pull to do it – to help out the community and offer something that they needed.”
Starting out, they will carry bread, dairy products such as milk, butter and eggs; fresh produce, including vegetables and fruit; fresh meat, which will cut on site; deli meats and cheeses; a liquor section that will include a variety of craft beers and wines and a specialty section with such items as BBQ sauces, spices and other items.
“One thing we will be offering are the meat and cheese trays along with the vegetable and fruit trays like Kroger used to offer,” Schmidt said. “Those were very popular items and because we have the area in the back, we are able to offer that as well.”
While they will have the deli meats and cheeses, right now there are no plans to have a full deli.
“But that isn’t to say that it might not come down the line some time,” Schmidt said. “I don’t know that we will go to the hot foods, but eventually we will probably offer deli sandwiches.”
The meat they offer will come factory sealed from a major processing plant in Southern Illinois and will be cut on premise.
“It will all be fresh meat, cut right here and packaged,” Schmidt said. “It will not be frozen, but after a couple of days in the cooler we may move it to the freezer. It will still be fresh, but it will be the first time it will be frozen.”
Dairy products will come from Prairie Farms Dairy, a local distributor and, come summer time, Schmidt says she hopes all of the produce will be local as well.
“Right now, we have no choice but to get our fruits and vegetables from other companies,” she said. “But when summer rolls around and the gardens are ready, we plan to carry fresh, local produce. I would much rather sell fresh peppers and tomatoes out of the garden than from a big company.”
One might say it goes along with their theme of keeping things local.
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“We are trying to keep things in here that come from either local businesses or small businesses,” she said. “We will have honey from Kevin Martin of Greenfield and popcorn from the Joehl family of Greene Field Farms. All of the little specialty items I have in her are all from small businesses companies here in the U.S.”
And, if there is something one would like to see them carry, they are always open to suggestions.
“We will have a little book sitting here in on the counter and we are going to take suggestions and requests,” Schmidt said. “If there is something that we get enough people say they would like to see us carry, we will look into getting it.”
When it came time to name their new business, Schmidt said they considered playing off their other business – the Grain Bin.
“When we first started talking about it, we thought about calling it the Grocery Bin because it would go along with the Grain Bin on the East side of the square,” Schmidt said. “I thought that was a cute name. But then we got to thinking that we wouldn’t really be offering a full line of groceries so that name might be a bit misleading. Then we thought about the Meat Market. Then people might think we only had meat. So, we came up with Market on Main because we are located on South Main and we are a market.”
Even their logo has a story behind it.
“Jerry wanted to name the market after our dog, Hank, and call it Hank’s Market, but I told him no one knew who Hank was,” Schmidt said. “So, the little dog that you see sitting next to the truck on our sign is our labradoodle, Hank.”
Schmidt said she enlisted the help of her two children to help them come up with a logo because they had actually made the logo for the Grain Bin, which is a stein that looks like a grain bin.
“I told them I really wanted to do the little old antique red pickup and I said I like the cow and pig and chicken that you always see in stores because I thought it was cute so we needed to incorporate that,” she said. “So, we drew it up and had them in the back of the truck, which we thought was cute and took it down to Julie’s Graphics in Jerseyville and I told one of the girls down there what I wanted and she put this together for us and I absolutely love it.”
Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will be closed on Sunday.