POLO – Lois Garman takes an item and places it in her cart.
“It is great,” she said with a smile. “It is beautiful.”
Strong feelings, especially for a grocery store. But Garman, who chatted recently while shopping at Polo’s new grocery store – Polo Fresh Food Market – has had to drive to Freeport or Dixon to do her shopping since Polo lost its grocery store eight years ago.
The new store opened on Jan. 28, and the response has been great, said owner Tushar Patel.
“Everybody loves it,” he said.
The store’s manager, Renee Krick, agreed.
“It was something the town really needed and wanted,” she said. “If you look at the vicinity, they really don’t have much without going to Freeport or Dixon.”
The store is open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday.
Patel, who also owns Lanark Food Center in Lanark, said the building the new store is in was formerly a Super Valu. After it closed, the building sat vacant for eight years.
The store appears new inside, with wide aisles stocked with all the essentials. Patel said people have especially enjoyed the fresh produce.
The store also has a deli, fresh meat and a bakery.
And that’s not all.
“You can get hot food to go,” Krick said. “We are hoping we get a good lunch crowd from the locals that come in.”
Krick said people have been very thankful and have asked to shake Patel’s hand and thank him for opening the store, which has about 10 employees.
She said they are now paying attention to what is popular and will make adjustments as needed.
“We are going to see how the first 30 days go, and take it monthly,” she said.
Garman is already sold. A rural Polo resident for more than 60 years, she is ready to have her say.
“I will do all my shopping here now.”