Michelle Grannes knows a thing or two about the retail business, but she also knows she still has a lot to learn.
During her growing up years in Minneapolis, Grannes did some work at a health food store, and it is her hope to try and add a few of the ideas she recalls from those days to the store she and husband, David Grannes now proudly own.
As the owners of Lily’s Hope Market, previously known as Hope Market, in Echo, David and Michelle Grannes have ventured into new territory.
“It’s exciting,” said Michelle.
The purchase of the small-town store came after Michelle, while visiting the Echo area, heard the community was looking for someone to take over operation of the business. The previous operators decided to get out of the grocery business, which put the store back in the hands of the community.
The Echo community initiated the construction of the new grocery store a few years ago after its previous store had closed. The community literally built the store from the ground up, as volunteers put in the hours to ensure the store was up and running. The community continued ownership of the store leasing it prior to selling it to David and Michelle.
“I spoke with Corliss Chase about buying the grocery store,” said Michelle, adding after meeting with the committee that has kept the store going since it was first started, an agreement was reached.
Just a few days later the papers were signed.
“We became the owners Nov. 27,” said Michelle.
The store has been officially opened under its new ownership for just about two weeks, and Michelle and David both said the community has really come out to support them.
“We are getting to know the regulars who come in for coffee,” said Michelle. “I love being around people, so this is becoming my thing.”
In many ways, David added, the grocery store has become the pulse of the community. People come to the store for those basic items, to get that cup of coffee or for lunch.
Lunches are going to continue to be served, with soup and sandwiches available daily from 11 a.m. until the food runs out, said Michelle.
While Michelle said she plans to stock the shelves with those things the people have been used to, she also wants to add a few other options, including a gluten free line of products, as well as more farm fresh items, such as honey and eggs.
As a gardener and operator of a CSA, Michelle said she also plans to have some of the produce she grows on the farm near Belview for sale at the store.
Page 2 of 2 - Michelle said there had to be a bit of a name change because of state law, but she wanted to keep the connection to those who made it all possible. So the store is now named after their daughter. Michelle said she is hoping people look to the store as more than just a place for convenience items in the future, and even though the amount of any one thing might be limited she is hoping to have enough on hand.
The store is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturdays. Sunday hours are from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. David and Michelle are looking forward to meeting customers at Lily’s Hope Market.