Goreville Food Market celebrates 40 years of service
Shortly after finishing college in the 1970s, Steve Carroll traveled to Goreville to help out in the small grocery store his parents purchased; his plans did not include a future here, but now he would not have it any other way.
“I said to my wife, ‘I’ll just be here a little while,'” said Carroll. Forty years later and a little while has yet to pass.
The month of June marks Goreville Food Markets 40th anniversary, which Carroll operates along with his twin brother, Bill Carroll and their mother Barbara Carroll. The trio did not wish to make much of the anniversary, saying the credit for their business goes to the customers and the community who shop and support the store.
“We’re blessed in having loyal customers,” said Steve Carroll. “We wouldn’t be here without them.”
Family-owned grocery stores are becoming something of the past and the Gazette did not wish to let the Carrolls escape a little notoriety. The atmosphere of the store is eternally welcoming and its employees are never without a friendly smile, often greeting customers by name. Nearly two years ago the Carroll family lost a husband and a father in Bill Carroll, who purchased the store with Barbara and built it up from something of a convenience store into the grocery store it is today.
“We’re dinosaurs,” said Steve’s brother, Bill Carroll. “Any independent store is a dying breed as more and more chain stores dot the landscape.”
The brothers both grinned as they said they have set a target date of retirement at age 87, just 20 more years.
“You have to enjoy what youre doing to stick with it for 40 years,” they agreed. “We’ll be here as long as the customers keep coming back.”
The family-owned business has an extended family in its employees as the store has a reputation for employing half of Goreville at one time or another.
“I don’t know about that,” said Steve Carroll, adding that over the years the Market has provided employment to many high school students who return years later to say hello.
“Bill just loved them, the customers and Goreville,” said Barbra Carroll of her husband, adding that he would often cook lunch for his employees. “He never knew a stranger and people comment they miss him calling out their names.”
She said from the time they opened their doors in the 70s until today, it has always been the people of Goreville who have made the Market a joy to operate.