How a Rowan Co. market is showcasing local and giving back to the community

Truly Local is not your typical grocery store, its products are not found in most box stores.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - We all know the price of just about everything has gone up when it comes to groceries.

For many families, choosing what items to buy means others getting left on the store shelf. A new grocery store in Morehead is offering up some help and in turn is another great example of our Commonwealth of Kindness.

Tucked in a Morehead shopping center is a very unassuming store. Truly Local is not your typical grocery store, it’s products not found in most big box stores.

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

James Lewis is the owner at Truly Local, a store designed to give products produced in Kentucky center stage on his store shelves.

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

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

“Not everybody knows that all these local farmers and local food producers exist, so we are bringing them all to one place,” said Lewis.

Lewis doesn’t just stock the shelves, he also takes pride in helping customers learn about the food they are buying and where it comes from.

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

“It spurned as a promotion to let folks know about our store because we haven’t really done a lot of advertising, and we decided to do it for a two-week period in February,” said Lewis.

It’s now been three months and to date, the store has given away more than 1,000 half gallons of milk.

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

For a lot of people, the rising price of other food staples had them leaving milk off the shopping list altogether.

“As long as we are financially able to continue doing it, we are going to continue doing it,” said Lewis.

What Truly Local is selling is out of the box, items you can’t find just anywhere, but perhaps it’s what they aren’t selling that sets them apart from all the rest.

“We are here to support the community and the community is supporting us as well,” said Lewis.

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

What the owners at Truly Local say they have seen happen through the free milk giveaway is that people are more apt to buy something from the store since they are getting the milk free.

Truly Local doesn’t just sell Kentucky made and grown items, but also carry several regional items from nearby states.

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