Rural grocery store considering coming to downtown Fort Scott

“Over 20 million dollars has been spent from private investment over the last 5 years just within our downtown, and one of the common questions we get from citizens and tourists is, “Gosh, we wish there was a little grocery store down here,'” said Rachel Pruitt, Fort Scott’s director of economic development.

And those citizens and tourists might just get their wish in the near future.

Fort Scott has reached out to the owners of the Mildred Store in neighboring Allen County to see if they’d like to open a second location in downtown Fort Scott. But it was more than just citizen requests that prompted the city to act.

“So we opened a 35 unit residential complex in December of 2016. We’re slated to open another 25 unit residential unit complex by the end of 2020,” said Pruitt, discussing downtown’s recent growth.

Regena Lance and her husband have been running the Mildred Store for the last 6 years, and think their small grocery and convenience store’s old-timey feel would be a great fit for downtown. But they still want to hear from Fort Scott residents, especially the ones living downtown, so the potential new store can cater to their needs.

“We can’t be Walmart. We don’t intend to be Walmart. We just want to provide a service and provide the necessities for people to get on a quick basis,” said Regena.

Regena says she’s not worried about competing with Fort Scott’s two larger grocery stores because her potential expansion would cater to downtown residents who don’t want to drive to the other side of town.

The Fort Scott expansion isn’t set in stone however, and Regena and her husband still want to hear suggestions on what the store should feature. You can add your two cents by sending the store a message on Facebook, and you can find the store’s page here.