I started working in Whitesville a couple of months after they lost their grocery store, and the subject came up in almost every community conversation.
Everyone knew they wanted and needed a grocery store, but at the time no one was quite willing or able to take it on.
A couple of locals took their interest to the next level by reaching out through The Hub network to the folks in Alderson, to talk with them about how they were able to successfully launch a community-owned grocery store in 2015.
They also contacted several grocery store chains to find out what it would take for them to open a store in Whitesville. I think the realization hit pretty hard that there just wasn’t the population to attract a chain to their town.
If it was going to happen, it would have to come from within.
And it has!
The Hub was overjoyed to hear that proud and courageous Whitesville resident David Hodges is currently hard at work transforming the former Browns Floor Covering building at 39077 Coal River Rd. into the soon-to-be-unveiled Midtown Grocery and Deli! The Hodges aim to open the grocery store and deli sometime in the next few months.
I cannot think of a better family to take on this new venture. David Hodges was one of the first people I met on my first visit to Whitesville. I’ve come to understand that David cares very deeply about Whitesville and its future.
I am so excited for the Hodges family and this new journey they are about to take, and will definitely be stopping by for a yummy deli sandwich the next time I’m in town (hopefully for the market opening.)
David is the first to admit that this new venture is a massive career change for him and his family.
“My dad was in the coal industry his entire life, and I’m a firefighter,” David said. “But we’re happy to be doing something new, and doing something that will hopefully help the people and the town of Whitesville.”
David said he is planning for the store to be an “essentials market” and not a supermarket.
“We will have dairy products, breads, produce, meats, and frozen, boxed and canned goods,” he said. “It is difficult to compete with big box stores, so we won’t be able to stock toiletry and cleaning supplies, only groceries.”
I, for one, am excited about the deli! “We have purchased everything to have a complete deli with lunch meats, cheese, doughnuts, a chicken fryer, and we anticipate having a hot bar with meals to go.”
People of Whitesville and beyond, make sure you shop local to support the Hodges family and Midtown Grocery and Deli!
Way to Turn This Town Around!