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More on Fareway grocery in Stewartville

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More on Fareway grocery in Stewartville

Cementing the plan announced in November, Stewartville city officials and a representative of Fareway grocery stores officially "broke ground" Thursday as trucks poured foundations behind them.

Describing how the lifting of a competitive restriction opened the door of Minnesota for the Boone, Iowa-based grocery store chain, Fareway president Fred Greiner said his team learned about how Stewartville lost its only grocery in 2006.

"We thought that this would be a very good place to start," he told local officials standing fresh-graded dirt under a cloudy sky. Greiner hopes to have the store completed by the end of the year, though it might not be until early 2009 that it opens.

The plan is to build a 32,000-square-foot store in under-development Himmer’s Northside Center. That places Fareway’s store along 20th Street about a block east of U.S. 63, just behind the former Boyums Economart store.

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That grocery store closed in 2006, leaving Stewartville without a food store.

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What about Rochester’s south Wal-Mart and target stores that sell groceries and hurt the Boyums store?

"We’ve always been very competitive with Wal-Mart," Greiner said in November.

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And he doesn’t believe the slow economy will harm the new store.

"Historically, when money is tight, Fareway does well," Greiner says. "We’re very economically priced."

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