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DES MOINES, Iowa - The owners of River Bend Trading Co., a independent specialty grocer here, are petitioning local residents to support their store or see it close, less than three months after it opened.
Sales at River Bend Trading Co. have been below expectations since it opened June 27 at 208 Court Ave. in Des Moines, Andy Massoth, one of the seven owners, told the Des Moines Register. "The whole purpose in going in there was to serve area residents," Massoth said.
In a letter to downtown dwellers, River Bend's owners said only about 150 of the estimated 1,000 who live within three blocks of the grocery store shop there regularly, traffic which "will not allow us to be here very long. The only way we can exist is if you, the downtown resident, shop here on a regular basis."
Massoth said the objective of the letter to local residents was two-fold: to alert residents about the store's presence and its offerings, and to ask for suggestions on providing better or expanded services.
Prior to opening the store, Massoth said research bore out that a neighborhood store like River Bend Trading - which combines specialty foods with traditional groceries - was what downtown residents wanted.
The good news is that store's wine shop is holding its own thanks to patronage from residents and downtown workers.