The Scoop on the Town Store
Campbell's Market ended a four-year trend and started improving a community calling for help
A food desert is defined as an area lacking a full-service grocery store within a 20-mile radius.
They afflict areas as populated as urban Cleveland, according to Campbell’s Market co-owner Rick Campbell, and as rural as McArthur, where his newest market resides.
“Everybody was just tickled to death when they heard [Campbell’s Market] was coming in,” McArthur resident Forney Harper said. As an outlet for fresh meat and produce for the first time in more than four years, “it really is a big asset for the community,” Harper said.
Since Campbell’s entered the community, it’s had an immense impact on residents.
“People don’t have to travel probably 45-50 minutes out of the way to get groceries,” Campbell’s self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades Michael Cain said. “They can just come down the street now. They save on gas. They save on time. They save on money.”
The Campbell family saw the need for a McArthur store after new co-owner Rick received a phone call from a concerned resident.
He examined his family’s impact on his own community of Duncan Falls, where the second of three Campbell’s (the original being in Zanesville) is located. Campbell found his community was “very similar” to McArthur and thus expanded further into southeast Ohio.
“We knew it would be a good fit,” Campbell said.
So did the Finance Fund, a program dedicated to raising money for needy Ohio communities.
The group rallied more than $1.5 million for the project and, with help from Representative Steve Stivers, a southeast Ohio native, Campbell’s project gained serious momentum across the state.
“Everybody was willing to do everything to help us come down here,” Campbell said.
Finally, the store arrived and everybody benefitted—not just customers.
“It’s a known local place that gives us jobs … five minutes down the road,” Cain said.
Campbell’s created a solution to a four-year problem in McArthur. Fresh food and friendly service now exist close by, meaning the efforts of Campbell and his family deserve a lot of praise.
However, having lived in the McArthur community, Campbell knows gratitude is a two-way street.
“We try to thank them as much as we can because without the community, we couldn’t make it,” Campbell said.