Grain Train considers store in Boyne City
Manager Bob Struthers stands inside the Grain Train in Petoskey. (FILE PHOTO / April 3, 2013)
The food cooperative has found a possible location for the shop: the old North Country Cycle Sport building on the corner of Park Street and Water Street.
An online petition started by the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce last Thursday supporting the placement of the store in Boyne City has already garnered nearly 300 signatures in less than a week.
"Certainly the Grain Train has experienced a lot of growth in the last couple years and there seems to be a lot of interest and need in the surrounding communities" for a second store, said Grain Train manager Bob Struthers. "There's a lot of energy in Boyne City. The demographics there seem to be the type of demographic we need in order for this to be a successful venture for us."
But, he cautioned, it is still in the preliminary planning stages.
"It's important to stress that we are just considering the possibility right now," he explained. "We're still trying to figure out whether this is a sensible move for us at this time."
They are working to determine whether interest in the area is in fact sufficient to support a second store, he said.
Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce director Jim Baumann believes there is.
"People have been excited for a while" at the possibility of a Grain Train in Boyne, he said. "But now that they're zeroing in on a building, that makes it more exciting because it seems like it really might be time to make it happen."
Those who have signed the online petition can leave comments on why they support the idea of a new store.
"Boyne needs another grocery option and Grain Train would be ideal," wrote Matthew Britton, of East Jordan. "My wife and I are members of the Petoskey store, but the travel makes it difficult to shop there often."
"Organic products are even harder to afford when you have to save up for a trip to Petoskey or Gaylord," wrote Starr Golembiewski, of Boyne City. "Having a local grocery store that carries these products would make it more affordable for me and would also mean I would eat more organic foods."
Robin Lee Berry, another Boyne City resident, also believes it is a good idea.
"Grain Train food co-op is such a wonderful source for the finest foods and to have it here in this growing, prospering village will grow a new and expanded customer base for the co-op as well as supply our residents and visitors with food options as well as the other great items the co-op supplies," she wrote. "They would do really well here in Boyne City."
In addition to the online petition, there is a paper petition that can be signed at Inspired Living on Water Street in Boyne City, which has collected 84 signatures so far.
Those interested in signing the online petition can visit www.change.org/petitions/grain-train-natural-foods-market-open-a-new-store-in-boyne-city.
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