SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A discount grocery store in Sioux Falls is closer to expanding to a new location as shelves are going up and items are being delivered.

Fair Market opened in March of 2021 and was acquired by Empower Sioux Falls in late July with hopes of expansion.

Kristin Johnson started Fair Market which quickly outgrew its first location and moved into a storefront at 10th Street and Sycamore Avenue. They are now getting ready to expand to a second location on North Kiwanis Avenue.

Part of a building at 523 North Kiwanis Ave., which used to be a fitness center, will soon be home to discounted groceries.

Rich Merkouris, who serves on the Empower Sioux Falls board of directors, says the new location will open December 14.

“Did some painting, putting in shelving and then we’ll start receiving, we’ve received some product. We’ll receive more product over the next couple weeks,” he said.

The location was chosen because the area is considered a “food desert.”

“Hy-Vee just down the road, it closed over a year ago, and so I think this is a really big step for us in an area that has some need, and we’ll see if our model works of being able to provide accessible things to 60 to 70 different staple items and if we’re able to connect with the neighborhood,” Merkouris said.

Fair Market executive director Kristin Johnson says those staple items would be considered ‘essential groceries.’

“Those will be items that we feel like are necessary for 80% of all of our daily lives, and they won’t be salvaged. They will be in date. They will be in good packaging, and they’ll be there for purchase,” she said.

However, they do have to pay more for those essential items.

“It won’t be as discounted but still shooting for that under big-box retail mark, so that people know that they’re going to save money,” Johnson said.

The new store has already received a shipment of random surplus items that will hit the shelves right away. They will also have coolers for items such as milk, eggs, hamburger, chicken and more.

Johnson says she never thought the store would grow to add more locations.

“People are getting the food that they want, and that’s always been my huge mission is to feed all the people,” she said.

“We need to create neighborhoods where people have access to just their daily needs, and so this provides access to individuals at affordable rate, so we’re excited about what this can do for the neighborhood. And also coming to the people, rather than expecting the people coming to us,” Merkouris said.

Merkouris says there are plans to add more locations in the future depending on how the expansion goes and if they are able to find a suitable space.

Right now, they are looking to expand into the Laura B. Anderson and Pettigrew Heights Neighborhoods and also an area of North Cliff Avenue.