Elora residents will soon be able to shop for groceries in their own town and not have to travel elsewhere.
A new grocery store, the Geddes Street Market, will be opening this spring.
Elora resident Debra Kropf is the owner and operator of the Geddes Street Market, which used to be the L&M Food Market that belonged to her parents Merlen and Doreen Kropf.
Kropf said her vision for the Geddes Street Market is to turn it into something beautiful not just a basic grocery store.
“I do want to feature a lot of farm-to-table products, I do want to have local sourced products whether it be honey, or maple syrup, or crafts that people have, [and] I want to be able to have a one-stop shop where people can get their groceries,” Kropf said.
Kropf said the store will be selling "Our Compliments" brand and a national brand, so there will be affordable products and some high-end products as well.
Kropf sold the grocery store she owned in Drayton for 11 years last summer and got the keys to the Geddes Street building last August.
She grew up in the grocery store business, her father, Merlen Kropf, opened the L&M grocery store in Fergus in 1965, where she started to work at as a teenager, and then he opened the L&M store in Elora in 1968.
Kropf said her father went on to open many other grocery stores all across Ontario and has since retired but has one store left in Dundalk.
“He has been my mentor in the grocery field for as long as I can remember, his health has been affected a couple years ago with his stroke, and then with COVID-19 that hasn’t helped either,” Kropf said emotionally. “He is a big part of me getting this store up and going, he is the owner of the building and without him I couldn’t have done this.”
She said her two children have also been a major part in helping her get the store ready for its spring opening.
“My daughter has been sourcing products for the last six months and my son has done most of the design package,” Kropf said.
Kropf said that it’s a real family affair and they want the store to be a three-generation business.
The L&M Food Market has been sitting empty since December 2018.
Kropf said she has been working hard on a full renovation of the building and when she opens she hopes residents enjoy it as much as she has enjoyed making her dream come to life.
“I know living in Elora, it’s much needed, we can’t get milk, or bread without going into Fergus or out of town, it’s going to be such an asset to the downtown core,” Kropf said.
She said for those that don’t have vehicles they will be offering curbside pickup, home services, and online phone orders.
Kropf said it’s been an overwhelming experience but she’s honoured she gets to open the Geddes Street Market for the Elora community.
“And [I'm] actually touched [by] how many people have reached out to me and thanked me, and I just want to give them something that they really need,” Kropf said while getting choked up. “It is a true blessing that I’m able to do this and the community has been so wonderfully supportive of me getting [the store] open.”
She added that she doesn’t want to rush the opening but is hoping to open around May 1.
Debra Kropf, owner and operator of the Geddes Street Market: