Genesee’s shuttered grocery store is expected to reopen next week under a different name and ownership.
Kulvir “Chris” Gill, a Lewiston resident and part-owner of the store, said he hopes to open Genesee Supermarket, on the corner of Chestnut and Pine streets, Sept. 11.
Genesee Mayor Steve Odenborg said the store “can’t happen soon enough.”
“I think everybody’s waiting in anticipation,” Odenborg said of the store’s opening.
The store, formerly called Genesee Food Center, closed Jan. 31. Gill said he and his three business partners purchased the store toward the end of June.
Gill and his business partners also own three gas stations in Lewiston, Gill said.
Genesee Supermarket will offer the same food and products as Genesee Food Center, Gill said, with a few twists. He said produce, deli meats, dairy, beer, soda and other essential household items will be available. Gill said he also plans to offer fresh chicken and pizza.
Gill said he is looking into purchasing a liquor license so he can sell hard alcohol like Genesee Food Center did.
While the food and products will be the same as Genesee Food Center’s, prices will be lower, Gill said.
“Making it more affordable is my key,” he said.
Gill said opening the store will allow Genesee residents to shop in town instead of traveling to Moscow or Lewiston for food. Odenborg said it is especially expensive to drive out of town when people only need to purchase an item or two.
“I feel when it comes to small communities, it’s essential to have a small type of store that they can depend on,” Gill said.
Odenborg estimated in January that the store served the community at that location for about 50 years. Latah County Treasurer BJ Swanson said in January that Zions Bank foreclosed on Genesee Food Center and owned the property.
Genesee residents and city officials said prior to Genesee Food Center closing, locals mainly used the store to grab a few items when needed, and they did their primary grocery shopping in Moscow or Lewiston, where they work. But some, especially residents who are older, disabled and/or do not own a vehicle, used the store to buy all their groceries, they said.
Crews have and continue to renovate the new store. Gill said Genesee Supermarket has been painted and the kitchen was torn out and rebuilt. He hopes to make parking lot improvements.
The store will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.