A convenience food store on South Limestone Street is likely to pick up more neighborhood business than expected when it reopened under new owners about two months ago.
The store is not a replacement for Kroger, Ahmad Abu Rokbeh, owner of Convenience Food Mart said this week. However the store’s proximity to the South Limestone Street Kroger is likely to attract neighboring residents in the coming months.
Kroger announced last week that it is closing its store a few blocks away on South Limestone to focus more attention on technology and online delivery.
“When I opened my business, it was busy in the same month,” Abu Rokbeh said.
Previous managers closed the store two years ago, he said.
Abu Rokbeh said he kept the store name, but everything in the store is different and brand new.
Convenience Food Mart sells groceries, frozen foods, snacks, cold drinks, beer, wine, tobacco, vaping products, and lottery tickets. The store also carries some grocery items inlcuding eggs, bread, milk, cheese, and a variety of meats.
EBT is aslo accepted, according to Abu Rokbeh.
He said his store is helping the neighborhood. “Everybody was happy when my store opened.”
The store is taking on a new life in the community as Kroger prepares to leave in March and some residents grapple with where they will shop for food.
The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) describes the neighborhoods near Convenience Food Mart, south of downtown Springfield, as a food desert with the South Limestone Kroger closing.
The CCCHD’s statement last Friday said the south side of Springfield has the fewest stores with fresh produce, processed produce or the ability to accept food assistance programs like EBT or WIC.
“These factors qualify this area as a food desert. The unfortunate closing of the Kroger grocery store on South Limestone only compounds this issue,” the statement said.
Abu Rokbeh owns businesses in Columbus, but moved to Springfield after opening Convenience Food Mart.
This is his first business in Springfield.
“It is a very good area,” Abu Rokbeh said. “I love Springfield.”
The Convenience Food Mart, 1912 S. Limestone St., is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The hours are expected to expand in the summer.
For more information, search for Convenience Food Mart on Facebook or call 937-717-5478.
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