SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A discount grocery store in Sioux Falls has officially been acquired by Empower Sioux Falls Monday.

Kristin Johnson started Fair Market in March of 2021 and it quickly outgrew its first location and into a storefront at 10th and Sycamore. It will now expand to more areas of town under new ownership.

“I’m so excited. Like I want to feed all the people. When he approached me, there was a need, and has time has marched on the need has continued to increase with grocery stores moving and with the economy the way it is and people looking for alternate ways to do life. We’ve been more of a fit more and more as time goes on,” Johnson said.

Empower Sioux Falls board of directors chairman Rich Merkouris brought the idea to Johnson about a year ago. He says $300,000 was raised to purchase the store, inventory and start the new “grocery initiative.”

“Individual community members stepped up and said, hey, here’s the seed capital to buy the initial inventory. To help with the first year of operations at these satellite locations. And then a church also stepped up and said we want to help as well,” he said.

For anyone that shops at Fair Market, you won’t see much of a change, but you may see more variety of products in the future.

“We’re going to try and take the work of Fair Market and expand into what’s known as food deserts in Sioux Falls, so different neighborhoods that don’t have access to affordable food. We’re going to try to open up little storefronts where there would be 60-70 different staple food items, plus some of the discount grocery items,” Merkouris said.

They also hope to add refrigeration and freezer products to the mix as well.

Very little of the items go to waste.

“We sell I’d say 95% of what we put on the shelf,” Johnson said.

Products you’ll see on the new store shelves will help to eliminate the “food deserts” in the city.

“We’re going to where the need exists. And we’re coming with a unique model that I think is going to really be beneficial to the people. They’re paying for something, they’re participating and we’re trying to build something sustainable,” Merkouris said.

They hope to have the new Fair Market locations up and running in the coming months.