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Ground breaks for new Riggins grocery store

— Excitement abounds in the town of Riggins as ground has been broken and heavy work continues.

“It is definitely exciting – it’s also a huge undertaking,” laughed John Llewelyn, owner of the Whitewater Market. Llewelyn is building a new grocery store.

The new 12,000-square-foot building isn’t set to be ready until December, but crews are busy getting the ground ready for the new store.

“It’s at 131 South Main Street, right in the middle of town,” said project manager Phil Ruhnke.

Llewelyn said the building will be much like the Bud’s PowerSports facility in Cottonwood.

“It will be metal and fairly open,” he said, but not quite as long.

Llewelyn purchased the town’s grocery store in 2015. It didn’t take long for him to hear the people of Riggins had been promised a new store decades ago.

“I took is slow, I didn’t want to over-promise and under-deliver,” he said. “I do want something nice for this community.”

Llewelyn said he is excited to offer not only a place to “get what you need, but a place to get some of those things you just want,” he said.

He said the timing or low interest rates, a good bank who sees the potential and him being “just young enough with enough energy” to see the job through all fell together at the right time.

“The ground is being prepared now for the foundation,” he said, adding the building will arrive in three to four weeks, then will take about that long to construct. By the time the fixtures and electrical are finished and inspections completed, it will be December before the new store will be ready to open.

“The community is really embracing the idea and that’s what I will need – their investment in the business,” Llewelyn emphasized.


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