PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A new business is filling a need for neighbors in Peoria’s North Valley neighborhood: a convenience store opening on Northeast Jefferson providing a place for people to grab food.
A former cell phone shop in Peoria’s North Valley transformed into an easily accessible quick-stop-shop for drinks, snacks, and other needs.
Rocky’s Market is a place neighbors nearby say bridges the gap without a grocery store nearby.
Owner Rakan “Rocky” Madanat said he saw a need to fill in the community.
“They need something here. They need something in this spot. This is needed,” Madanat said.
A spot commonly considered to be one of the city’s food deserts; in a time when other businesses are closing down Rocky’s Market opening up shop on northeast Jefferson and Caroline. Madanat said he wasn’t concerned about the pandemic.
“Essential businesses during COVID pandemic time cannot be closed down, so I would still get business in,” Madanat said.
A first-time business owner, Madanat is selling soda, snacks and other convenient items in a convenient place for those who live nearby.
“It has this small/big city lifestyle which is nice, it’s not too crowded. The people are nice,” Madanat said of the neighborhood.
Neighbor John Poore said he’s been in the store everyday Rocky’s has been open.
“He’s well-priced, real easy to get to and within walking distance,” Poore said. “There hasn’t been anything here for years so it’s nice to have him in the neighborhood.”
Poore said he’s excited to be within walking distance of a grocery store again after other stores have closed up shop.
“That would be great. With Kroger closing on Wisconsin, you have to go way down this way or quite a ways a way,” Poore said.
James Hogan brought his kids on Friday and said if the store expands to offer fresh fruit and foods, it would be a big win for the neighborhood.
“In this community? If there was a grocery store out here, that would be fantastic, “Hogan said. “I’m sure a lot of people would appreciate an actual grocery store.”
Right now, Rocky’s is open everday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Madanat says he’s already hoping to expand the goods he offers in the store with unused space.
He also hopes to add more staff as business picks up. For now, he’s happy to serve the North Valley and is always open to feedback on what his store should offer.
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