Business ready to roll in and accommodate grocery shoppers’ needs as Midtown stores close

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The closing of two grocery stores within Kansas City`s urban core has a some worried the area will become a food desert. The stores are within about a mile radius in Midtown.

Now, a unique local business is ready to roll in to help shoppers. Hidden in the hustle and bustle at the Midtown Thriftway store was word that the store is closing its doors.

Blink and you miss it. Among the signs showing the daily deals is one that reads "Going out of business."
FOX 4 is still waiting to hear from the owner.

“You can see it in his face. He`s sad. So it`s just a shame. He`s been here forever," said shopper Krista Davis.

The closure will make things inconvenient for Davis, and shopper Haley Maurer, who not only cashed her paycheck there, but finds the shopping affordable.

“That`s why I think it`s good to have grocery stores in places like this because there`s people who live around here who can actually afford that type of stuff," said Maurer.

FOX 4 broke the news to shopper Jesus Rodriquez, who showed up after hearing that Apple Market on Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd is also closing. There, FOX 4 also broke the news about Thriftway to Tracy Gatlin, a long-time Apple Market shopper who`s sad to see Apple Market go.

"Probably about 20, 25 years since it`s been open. It was Piggly Wiggly. First .we were down here shopping when it was Piggly Wiggly," said Gatlin.

FOX 4 heard from several shoppers who say other area grocery stores are too far away, or don`t have quality produce. However, those who don`t want to make the trek elsewhere might end up getting the groceries to come to them.

"We are going to look to try to make sure we have a space to park in that community so that people can still shop in that community," said Natasha El-Scari, community connector for “Rollin' Grocer.”

Since November 2015, “Rollin' Grocer” has been filling in the gap for the city`s food deserts. In light of the two store closures, they plan to rotate stops or add more to accommodate shoppers.

They`ve spent the past year getting to know what shoppers want, and say their prices are competitive with traditional grocery stores, and that they have good quality items. They encourage shoppers to not only check them out online, but see what they have to offer in person.

"I think we can be one of the answers with the closing of the grocery stores," said El-Scari.

"Rollin' Grocer" also participates in "Double Up Food Bucks" through the EBT program.