Grocery survey launches

Published 4:51 pm Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Farmville Downtown Partnership, in collaboration with the Longwood University Office of Economic Development, is sponsoring an online survey to evaluate opportunities for a new local grocery market in downtown Farmville.

Matt McWilliams

According to a press release, the survey takes about five minutes to complete and will help the organizations better understand how a new local market might be utilized by the community and what types of food or grocery items should be included.

The survey can be accessed here.

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“To say thanks for your participation, you can opt to include your email address at the end of the survey and be part of a drawing for four $50 VISA gift cards,” officials said in the release.

The survey asks how many people the survey participant grocery shops for, how many times the participant purchases certain items, what grocery stores are shopped at in and outside of Farmville, which grocery categories one would purchase are available in Farmville, among other questions regarding a new grocery store.

The survey regards Longwood University’s plan to recruit a boutique grocery location to Midtown Square in downtown Farmville.

Forums were held in September for Longwood students and in August for the general public to speak on their thoughts regarding the plans for a boutique grocery store.

According to Longwood University Community and Economic Development Coordinator Executive Director Sheri McGuire, more than 80 people attended the forums. McGuire said the forums provided for good discussions on the plans for a boutique grocery store.

Sheri McGuire

“I think no matter which area of the community that you come from, I am seeing interest for things that you would normally shop for on the perimeter of a grocery store — the produce, meats, cheeses (and) dairy,” McGuire said in a previous interview. “An overall fresh experience, if you will.”

She said the surveys will test assumptions they’re seeing and the recommendations that people have had so far to see how that factors into an overall plan for a market.

“After that, toward the end of the year they will have a full report back to the community on what their suggestions are, and that information — assuming it’s a go — we’ll take to some potential operators to see if we can get something going,” McGuire said.

According to a press release from Longwood, university officials say at least one company in the boutique grocery business has expressed serious interest in the idea.

“There’s a company that has kind of boutique grocery markets that operates them. And they’re interested,” Longwood spokesman Matt McWilliams said in a previous interview.