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Verndale residents gain grocery store

Photos by Rachelle Klemme John Steffenson stocks ice cream in the frozen foods section after the arrival of a new Wednesday morning shipment. Verndale Grocery and Treasures Too, owned by Wadena County Developmental Achievement Center, opened July 12.1 / 2
Photo by Rachelle Klemme Store Manager Linda McGrane shows one of the aisles of groceries at Verndale Grocery and Treasures Too on Wednesday morning.2 / 2

Verndale has a grocery store once again, now owned by Wadena County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC).

The business, which is half grocery store and half thrift store, was opened July 12 in the same building as the previous grocery store, Executive Director Sylvia Silvers said.

The Verndale Grocery and Treasures Too, along with the Treasure Trove Thrift Store in Sebeka and a variety of work projects around the communities, give job skills and experience to clients of DAC.

"We have a little bit of produce, we have dairy, frozen foods and quite a variety of canned goods...and nonperishables," Silvers said. "On the thrift side, we take donations."

Before the opening of Verndale Grocery and Treasures Too, the town of 602 was without a grocery store for several years.

Silvers said the idea to open the grocery store emerged when she went to Verndale to purchase a piece of equipment and saw that the closed store was still set up to be ready for groceries.

Store Manager Linda McGrane said the business provides good training opportunities for clients, as part of the DAC's purpose to serve people with developmental disabilities.

Instructor Connie Umland said they have received positive feedback from the community, and people appreciate the convenience of a grocery store in their own town.

McGrane also said if people don't find what they want in the two aisles of groceries, they can ask for it in the next shipment, and they can also do special orders for churches, organizations and benefits.

McGrane added that business has been a little slow but steady, and they hope things pick up when the school year starts.

For now, the store accepts cash or checks only, but should be able to accept credit, debit, EBT and possibly WIC in the near future.

The store's hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.