Lake Benton Grocery has a new look

LAKE BENTON – When Steve’s Affiliated Foods in Lake Benton changed hands last August and reopened under new ownership as the Lake Benton Grocery, a lot of people in town breathed a sigh of relief. Then a lot of the people in the community pitched in to give it a new look.

“It’s been totally remodeled since we bought it,” said Tami Trigg, who bought the store with her husband, Allen. “We’re going to remodel the office and break room next. It’s been quite a transformation.”

Allen Trigg has a construction business. He and his staff handled the remodeling of the floors, ceiling and shelves.

Thanks to the staff and a lot of help from volunteers they had to close for just three days in February during remodeling. Volunteers and staff moved shelves and goods from one section to another to allow remodeling, then moved them all back to remodel the other section.

“What’s really neat about this is we had a tremendous amount of community support,” Tami Trigg said. “Volunteers, family and friends worked for four days. Some staff put in long hours. We couldn’t have done it without their help.”

Since remodeling they’ve replaced the meat and produce coolers and plan to get a new dairy case soon. After remodeling they hired a crew of high school students to label shelves and products for a new scanner.

Tami Trigg is a registered nurse and works two shifts a week. They’ve kept most of the previous staff and plan to expand their selection of goods.

“We’ll continue getting new products and we’d like to expand the bakery items,” Tami Trigg said. “We’re expanding meat items. My husband is the meat cutter and we’re going to have more items for grilling. And we’ll possibly add floral items. I used to have a flower shop.”

The store is a major employer in Lake Benton with seven full-time and part-time employees, plus the Triggs.

“Many people in town were trying to keep the store open, maybe as a co-op and they probably would have,” Tami Trigg said. “But the store would have been closed for a while.”