12/5/2017 3:28:00 PM Together we ended a food desert Speakers credit team effort including Representative Ryan Smith
Congressman Steve Strivers is shown being checked out by Campbell’s employee Whitney Fout at the Grand Opening event Monday morning, Dec. 4. The Congressman played a key role in helping end the food desert status in Vinton County. (Telegram Photos By Red Thompson, Jr.)
The ribbon falling signals an official end to the food desert as Mike Campbell (center with big scissors) and his family open the store. Pictured are (from left): Rick Campbell, Jr., Mike Campbell, Beth Campbell, and Rick Campbell, Sr. Campbell’s Market has special prizes and giveaways including a chance to win a big screen television during the grand opening period.
Team work, cooperation, grit and dedication were all adjectives used in comments made at the Campbell's Market Grand Opening celebration held Monday morning. The store is located at 630 West Main (US Route 50) near Vinton County High School.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, U.S. Congressman Steve Stivers, State Senator Bob Petersen, Regional Representative from Governor John Kasich's Office Kathleen Young, Vinton County Commissioner Tim Eberts and a host of officials from the Ohio Healthy Food Finance Fund made comments expressing pride in completing this project.
Additionally, they all gave credit to State Representative Ryan Smith for his leadership, while the Campbell family members Rick, Beth, Rick Jr. and Mike were also thanked for being willing to open their third market in McArthur. The celebration was marked by a remote broadcast from WKOV 96.7 FM radio personality Matt McKee and food was provided by the Vinton County National Bank.
Congressman Stivers told The Telegram he is proud of the Ohio Healthy Food Finance Fund and credits Representative Smith for his work in creating and supporting it.
Stivers stated this project is important to him as he worked the Ohio General Assembly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies. He stated although he is thrilled with a successful outcome in Vinton County, the state has embarked in something that flows far beyond its borders.
"The Ohio Healthy Food Finance Fund is important to our state nationally because it puts us in a leadership position of ending food deserts," said the Congressman. "It is something other states can model."
A part of funding a store is to find good operators according to Omar Elhagmusa with the Ohio Health Food Finance Fund.
"Having good operators who make the stores work is important to us," said Elhagmusa. "We are glad we can provide some financial assistance and we have enjoyed working with a quality family such as the Campbells.
Commissioner Eberts agreed as he is glad Campbell's Market is open and urged county residents to support it.
During his remarks, Senator Peterson stated it is important for families to have access to meats, fruits and vegetables, and this project made it happen for Vinton County residents.
"I am glad we could get to this point," said Peterson, "I want to thank State Representative Smith, Congressman Stivers and the Campbell Family for their commitment."
Speaking of their commitment, Rick Campbell told The Telegram this has been exciting for the family though there have been some bumps along the road.
"The process has been taxing to myself, my wife, my sons and family," Rick added. "The results have been worth it though and we are glad to be here."
Campbell also noted they love their location in the new Cherry Lane development center near Vinton County High School.
He stated they have gotten a lot of media attention and now want to do what they love to do: run a quality grocery store. It is, Campbell added, what General Manager Garry Saunders and the Campbell's Market staff are already doing.
"We have hired some great employees who have done whatever we have asked them to get us to this point," said Campbell. "We have a grand-opening sale with some great prices and giveaways. We will be giving away a big screen television, a shopping spree and bags of groceries."
Saunders, a Vinton County native, stated he is proud to be managing the store that ended the nearly five-year food desert.
"We are going to keep this store clean, well-stocked and keep an emphasis on customer service," Saunders stated. He further said the store's deli section has proven to be popular, and noted Campbell's has always had a reputation for having quality, fresh-cut meats and this location is no different. Saunders wants customers to shop there not only because it is local, but because he feels it is the best overall choice for them and their families.
"It has indeed be a special day," Saunders concluded.