How a Rowan Co. Market Showcases Local and Gives Back to the Community

ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – We all know the price of almost everything has gone up when it comes to groceries.

For many families, deciding which items to buy means that others stay on the store shelf. A new grocery store in Morehead is offering help and is in turn another great example of our Commonwealth of Kindness.

Tucked away in a Morehead mall is a very modest store. Truly Local is not your typical grocery store, these are products not found in most big box stores.

“All the way from Louisville to Burlington to Georgetown,” said store owner James Lewis.

James Lewis is the owner of Truly Local, a store designed to give Kentucky-made products center stage on his store shelves.

“So we started some kind of farming and quickly found that stores wouldn’t buy your produce, so outside of farmers markets and a few other small venues, you really don’t have a market for your produce” , Lewis said.

117 local producers are represented in the store, from fresh fruits and vegetables to meat and eggs.

“Not everyone knows that all of these local farmers and local food producers exist, so we’re bringing them all together in one place,” Lewis said.

Lewis doesn’t just stock the shelves, he also takes pride in helping customers learn about the foods they buy and where they come from.

There is also something else that sets this store apart: free milk.

“It was dismissed as a promotion to let people know about our store because we didn’t really advertise it that much, and we decided to do it for two weeks in February,” Lewis said.

It has now been three months and to date the store has dispensed over 1,000 half gallons of milk.

It might sound strange for a new business trying to make money, but not for Lewis when he started hearing the stories of how much it helped.

For many people, the rising price of other staples has caused them to cut milk off the shopping list altogether.

“As long as we are financially able to continue doing this, we will continue to do this,” Lewis said.

What Truly Local sells are off the shelf, items you can’t find anywhere, but maybe it’s what they don’t sell that sets them apart from everyone else.

“We’re here to support the community and the community supports us as well,” Lewis said.

Truly Local is located at 328 Pinecrest Dr. in Morehead, Kentucky.

What the owners of Truly Local say they have seen happen with free milk distribution is that people are more likely to buy something from the store since they get the milk for free.

Truly Local not only sells items made and grown in Kentucky, but also offers several regional items from surrounding states.

If you have a kindness story in your community, email us at kindness@wkyt.com.

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