By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — When the Schnucks on Rockton Avenue closed its doors in July 2018, Sonya Kaur lost her neighborhood grocery store.
Now she’s helping bring one back.
For many people on the city’s northwest side, Schnucks closure meant traveling across town to find the produce, meat and other groceries they had been accustomed to buying close to home. Nearby options were small food marts that didn’t offer the full selection residents have said they wanted.
“We knew that this neighborhood really needed something better,” Kaur said.
She and her family hope they’re delivering just that with the opening of LoCost Food Store, 3118 N. Rockton Ave. The local family owned grocery store is located in the former Ace Hardware and in the same complex as the shuttered Schnucks.
Kaur said they’ve been working on plans to open the store for about two years.
“We have put a lot of money, a lot of effort and a lot of hard work in it,” Kaur said. “Hopefully it helps the people in the community.”
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The store is scheduled to open Tuesday. It will operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. On Sunday, Kaur’s family gave a few tours to residents to see what’s coming.
“It’s definitely going to help the neighborhood get back something that they lost,” said Vivian Lott, the founder and CEO of Voices of Inspiration, a nonprofit service organization located across the street. “Especially for the senior citizens, they don’t have to walk to Walmart or they don’t have to catch a ride now.”
The Rockton Avenue Shopping Center where LoCost is located saw several business closures, Lott said, naming Schnucks, Payless Shoes and Ace Hardware.
“This area right here has really been hit hard,” Lott said. “To bring this back into the community is great.”
Alderman Bill Rose, whose 9th Ward territory includes the shopping center, thanked the family for taking a chance on the city’s west side and listening to residents who said they needed a grocery store.
“A lot of people had questions about whether this would be just another mini mart or a small operation that offers unhealthy food,” Rose said. “This is an actual store that you can get name-brand groceries at. That’s what I think people want for this area.”
“It means hope for this area,” Rose said. “You had people already coming in and saying, ‘This is going to be my grocery store.'”
LoCost Food Store | Hours and Location
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week
Location: 3118 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford
This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas .