By Eric Mistry
After 55 years of business, McNally’s Foods is changing locations this August. The move will not take the grocery store far, however, as McNally’s is moving just across the street to the space currently occupied by Main Street Furniture & Appliances, near the corner of Main Street and 6th Avenue.
Randy and Julie Smith have owned McNally’s for the past two decades and have seen the town of Grinnell and the College go through many changes over the years. Despite the arrival of newer and bigger businesses, however, the Smiths remain confident of McNally’s continued place in the community.
“We still think there’s a need for a local downtown grocery store in Grinnell,” Mr. Smith said.
The move was prompted by a combination of factors: specifically, McNally’s current lease expiring and their landlord’s decision to raise the rent on the building. After carefully weighing their options, the Smiths decided the best solution was to move McNally’s.
Though the act of changing locations will involve a great deal of work and long hours, they believe that McNally’s and its customers will see the benefits of a new store design.
“Now we’re going to be able to make it the way we want it,” Mr. Smith said.
Part of the plan for the new store involves measures to maximize energy efficiency, which will result in lower electricity use and a more comfortable in-store climate.
“Some of our equipment will come with us, but a lot will be new,” Mr. Smith said. “The new equipment is energy efficient, which should allow us to cut our energy costs by about fifty percent.”
Besides the new location, with its new equipment and layout, McNally’s should be relatively unchanged, especially in terms of product selection.
“We’re still going to go after the gourmet and health food items that we’re known for,” Mr. Smith said. “We’ll be adding some more convenience-oriented foods, expanding the deli and pushing the health foods forward.”
The new store will boast a new seating area in conjunction with the deli, giving Grinnellians another spot to grab a lunch. There will also be designated areas to display featured items, such as specialty produce and new products.
The Smiths’ plan to move in early August will coincide with Grinnell students’ return to campus. They look forward to a new beginning in the new store on the same street. For the Smiths, life after the move should be business as usual.
“We’re just moving across the street and we’ll continue to provide Grinnell with a downtown grocery store,” Mr. Smith said.