Their Rock County community didn’t have a grocery store, so they made one themselves

ORFORDVILLE, Wis. – A Rock County community is working to avoid becoming a food desert by creating a community grocery store.

Food is Fuel, owned by Orfordville native Diana Grenawalt, provides fresh produce, meat and other goods to those living in the area.

Prior to the store opening several months ago, options were limited when it came to groceries.

“If you run out of celery, where do you go?” Grenawalt said. “You have to go to town.”

The store’s location on Broadhead Street in Orfordville was at one time a full-service gas station, before being renovated.

“I have had a lot of friends that have been in the farming business for years,” Grenawalt said. “I pitched the idea to them and they were very excited about it.”

The store is stocked with goods provided by more than a dozen local farmers from the Rock County area and beyond.

“People really want tasty, local, and convenient food,” said Jen Riemer, owner of Riemer Family Farms. “More and more people are caring about good food, and more and more people are demanding food that’s raised ethically.”

In addition to fighting food insecurity, Grenawalt says having access to fresh produce also helps people to live a healthier lifestyle.

“You’re stopping to get gas here anyways,” she said. “Why not run in and grab some fresh salad, fresh produce, or tomatoes for dinner tonight?”

Grenawalt says she’s hopeful the store can continue to expand, and its concept can even help other communities without a local grocer.

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