HUMBOLDT — The wait is over.
Our Market grocery store in Humboldt opens today.
Proprietor Amy Welch was hard at work on final touches Wednesday afternoon, and described herself as “feeling all the emotions.”
“Excited, nervous, scared. … I don’t know whether I’m supposed to cry, laugh or crawl in a hole,” she grimaced/grinned.
Welch and her husband, Scotty, have even gone so far as to camp out at her parents’ house in Humboldt during the final push.
“We’re just open to knowing it’s not going to be perfect, with hiccups all over the place,” she said.
“It’s going to be late nights and early mornings.”
“We’re finishing stocking the coolers right now,” Welch noted, “with our front-end system, pricing, stuff like that,” still to go.
TODAY’S DEBUT is a “soft” opening, with an official grand opening scheduled for July 10.
For many, it’s been a long wait.
It’s been since March 2019 that Humboldt’s Moon’s Hometown Market closed.
Welch said many in the community have already visited the store.
“They’re super-excited. And we’re super-excited that they’re excited,” she said.
Indeed, the preparation has taken a village.
“We’ve had a lot of people in here working, a lot of hands,” Welch said, including “random community members,” and others content to receive their payment in the form of meat from the butcher shop.
“They’ve all been super-supportive, nice, encouraging,” she said of the community. “And nobody’s been negative about how long it’s taken or needing to push things back.”
Support has come in many forms.
For instance, “one of the churches came in and prayed for the building,” Welch noted.
“Our family and friends support us a ton, too. I had a friend that hired a cleaner to come and clean my house for a day.”
“This town just does a great job of supporting its own,” Welch observed. “It’ll be great because we have great people here.”
“With so much going on in Humboldt, this is just another good part to be added.”
HUMBOLDT resident and Iola/Chanute teacher Bailey Willard has been part of the final push to open Our Market, and plans to continue helping through the summer.
Her husband, Sam, works full-time in the store’s butcher shop. (Their kids are Lane and Ella.)
“Seeing the progress just floors me, and the work everyone has done to get there,” Willard said.
“Each time I come in, something is different and we’re one step closer.”
Willard once worked at Dillons in Pittsburg, and so found herself being able to help out in unexpected ways.
“I’ve learned a lot and also taught [the Welches and others] some things I learned while at Dillons, so it’s been really good,” she said.
“I had no idea my time there would come in handy, eight years later.”