This American Grocer

Today’s official unironic feel-good story comes from Truman, Minnesota (population 1,259), where the only grocery store went dark a year and a half ago. That’s been the fatal blow for many main streets: As the Center for Rural Affairs notes on its blog, “A grocery store is a critical component of community infrastructure that every small town needs to prosper.”

Truman found an unlikely savior: In the fall of 2006, 17-year-old Nick Graham, then still a senior in high school, bought the store with his savings and a small loan. The community helped him clean the store and stock the shelves; when Main Street Market opened a month later, Graham had to miss a few hours of school just to be there—he’s been dubbed “the youngest grocer in America.” A year later, he’s not only succeeding, he recently bought another small grocery store 35 miles away. Where’s Reader’s Digest when you need it?

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