By CHRIS EDENS
A new, long awaited grocery store in Oologah is almost in the bag.
In less than two weeks, area residents will no longer have to leave town to stock up the refrigerator and the pantry.
The ribbon cutting for the new Apple Market is scheduled for Nov. 11. Crews from Crossland Construction have been on the fast track to build the 19,000 square foot store at U.S. 169 and OK 88.
The official groundbreaking for the new store was June 24 and crews have been on a short construction deadline. Work is back on schedule after a six day weather delay in September.
“The guys have done a great job catching up. Crossland’s done a great job and the sub-contractors are doing a good job,” said Jim Brown, owner of Doc’s Food Stores. “They told us Monday they can have us ready for the opening and I have all the faith in the world they can do it. We’re excited.”
It’s been 12 years since Oologah had a grocery store. Town leaders worked with RCIDA to form a Tax Increment Financing District to help lure the Apple Market to Oologah.
“Myself, Steve Savage and John Wylie have been working on this for at least ten years and it’s finally materialized,” Oologah Mayor Jerry Holland said. “We now have a first class grocery store along with a first class school system and a very efficient local government that works well with economic development.”
Workers were already starting to fill the shelves this week. Doc’s Food Stores Regional Manager Courtney Brown said a truck is delivering non-perishable items to the store every morning.
“We’re determined to open November 11,” Courtney Brown said.