Entrepreneur Opens Grocery Store In His Double-Wide

Larry Cooner on Monday, March 11, 2002

from the always-the-freshest-gizzards dept.

SOMEWHERE IN NECKRED COUNTY -- Joe Schamberger has all the ingredients for a successful grocery store: a refrigerator and a building. Last week, twenty residents living in Coon Hollow Township showed up for the grand opening of Joe's Food Mart & Junkyard on County Road 632 just past the ford across Possum Creek.

Joe's Food Mart is an extremely low-budget operation. All the products are placed within Joe's refrigerator and kitchen cabinets inside the store building, his double-wide trailer. Customers wander in and pick through his fridge and cabinets and then make an offer on what they need.

When I visited the store last Friday, I tried to make an offer a sack of apples I found in a cupboard, but Schamberger said that item wasn't for sale; his mother-in-law was coming for dinner next week and the only dessert she likes is apple pie. "We might be getting another shipment of those next week," he said.

Of course, when he says "shipment", he means "my son Vern will drive into Redton, the county seat, and buy them from Quimby's Country & Country Mart, the only grocery store in town". (From what I've heard, Old Man Quimby likewise receives his supplies from a grocery store in Marble Hill via his son Earl who makes the journey every week or so).

In compliance with a Neckred County ordinance requiring stores to accept livestock or other barter items in lieu of cash for purchases valued less than $100, Joe's Food Mart also buys and sells goats, cows, chickens, and pigs, along with roadkill (fresh only), beat-up cars, auto parts, scrap metal, and broken appliances.

By next month, Joe Schamberger hopes to buy a few dairy cows and chickens so that he can offer fresh milk and eggs. Customers, of course, will have to wander into the barn and milk the cows or fetch the eggs on their own. He also hopes to acquire a few goats so that he can rent them out as lawn mowers on a weekly basis.

If the business becomes a success, Schamberger has plans to open another store a few miles down the road in Toadsuck Township within his Uncle Smedley's old single-wide trailer. "It might be a little cramped inside a single-wide, but hopefully I'll be able to afford an expansion by then," he said. (When he says "expansion", he means "bring in another single-wide and place them side-by-side".)

In related news, a spokesperson for Claw-Mart announced that the company "has absolutely no plans to build a Supercenter in Redton" because "we haven't been able to find Neckred County on the map."