Country Market is Bloomfield’s go-to grocery store. However, it can be difficult running a business in a small town.
It’s a two-way street as small businesses need people and small towns need small businesses.
Kristel Loecker and Jody Edmundson understand this concept in small-town living and decided to not only serve the community by owning and operating Country Market, but to invest further in its future with some recent upgrades.
Grocery stores generally employ many people, which can be very important to a small community and Country Market is no exception. There are friendly smiles in every corner of the store.
Country Market also works with companies such as VocRehab and Northstar Services. These companies help intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals find jobs in Northeast Nebraska. They match some great workers to places like Country Market, such as employees Amanda Kallhoff, Kim Zerbe and Sophie Jindra.
Sophie Jindra said she loves working at Country Market and enjoys everything from stocking the front of the store to working in the back with others making food. She enjoys switching it up and getting to do different things each day.
Loecker expressed how much she loves working with Sophie, Amanda and Kim.
“They are a blast to work with and we have developed deep relationships with them,” she said. “A few years ago we took those working at the time to Omaha to the food show. It was so much fun.”
Edmundson agreed and said Country Market wouldn’t be nearly as successful without great employees.
“We both love the jobs we do and the people we do it for. We have awesome, awesome, awesome coworkers. who make it possible for us to be successful,” Edmundson said.
Country Market doesn’t just serve the community by employing many people. It also provides a valuable amenity.
There was a time when Bloomfield had multiple grocery stores but now the Country Market stands alone. Providing for a whole town can be a big task, which the owners do not take lightly.
With priority number one being to provide the community with a variety of food, Loecker and Edmundson recently have made some upgrades to the store. They replaced many coolers and freezers and upgraded wiring for the freezers. Although the upgrades took some coolers out of commission briefly, the freezers since have been fully stocked and are all full of a variety of frozen goods.
Bloomfield, as a small community, depends on local businesses. City Administrator Colette Panning couldn’t express how vital a grocery store is to the community..
She noted how it saves the whole town from having to drive elsewhere to buy food and its convenience as well.
Panning also stated how well stocked Country Market is and how employees go the extra miles to stay open later and on Sundays.
“If I’m in a meeting until late, I can still run over to the store and grab something before heading home,” she said.