Rhoda Price holds a banana as she speaks at the Campbell’s Market groundbreaking ceremony in Vinton County on March 20. (Robert Green/WOUB)

Groceries Coming To Vinton County

Posted on:

< < Back to

The road to a new grocery store in Vinton County started with a single banana.

Rhoda Price, executive director of the Vinton County Senior Citizens, fought in her own way to bring about Monday’s groundbreaking of the newest and only grocery store in Vinton County, McArthur’s Campbell’s Market. She went to a luncheon for a health food finance initiative to speak for senior citizens in Vinton County, and brought the fruit with her.

“I used the banana as an illustration, like ‘how would you like to drive ten miles one way at least to get one of these to eat, or do you want to stay home and take potassium tablets?'” Price said.

Price has been a vocal fighter for fresh food in a county that lost its only grocery store in 2013. She has even gone to other counties, travelling thousands of miles a year to bring fresh food from other counties.

“We have to travel mile after mile after mile to get fresh produce, to get fresh meats and it’s very important, especially, that the senior citizens have it,” Price said. “It’ll be much nicer to have everything local again.”

With the groundbreaking held at a field near Vinton County High School on Monday, the Campbell family, led by Richard Campbell, Jr., is bringing those products back to the area.

“To make this store successful, we need the support of the local community,” Campbell told the crowd at the groundbreaking.

The 12,000 square foot store that is proposed for McArthur will employ an estimated 30 employees, both full-time and part-time, according to Campbell.

“Absolutely we’re looking to hire within the local community,” Campbell said.

The grocery store comes with about $1.6 million in funding from state agencies and organizations. The money was brought in through The Food Trust, a commission of the Finance Fund Corporation organized to “conduct a statewide quantitative research study to identify Ohio communities that lack access to healthy food options,” according to a profile of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative on the Finance Fund website.

“Grocery stores improve the quality of life and attract businesses and jobs to communities,” Diana Turoff, president and CEO of Finance Fund Capital, said on Monday.

Campbell’s operates two other grocery stores, one in Duncan Falls and another in South Zanesville, and have been in the grocery business since 1930.

While the county has a few months of waiting before the store opens, those at the groundbreaking were optimistic about the future of the county, spurred on by fresh foods and new jobs.

“I think Vinton County’s coming back to life again,” Price said. “We might be the smallest county but we’re fighting.”

The new store is set to open late this summer.