Canaan store opens with fan fare, ceremony

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By Tia Lynn Ivey & Elizabeth Lanier

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City officials got a sneak peak of the Canaan Corner Store last Thursday before the grand opening on Tuesday, July 18. 

The project five-years in the making has now come to fruition, open for business on the corner of Burney and Fifth streets in Madison. The store is owned by Rita and Henry Harris, with investor Marilyn Williams, who will create two fulltime jobs at the store.  The owners are seeking approval to sell alcohol out of the store and will make their case to the public at a special Town Hall meeting on Thursday, August 10 at 5:30 p.m.  at the Madison City Meeting Hall. 

In 2012, The City of Madison selected the location for redevelopment to recreate a corner store for the local Canaan neighborhood. Madison Mayor Fred Perriman had fond memories of the original corner store that existed there when he was growing up in town. 

“This is all part of our efforts to revitalize the Canaan District,” said Perriman last year about the project. “It’s a great opportunity. I think it will be good to have a store back in the Canaan area once again, when I was in high school it was very well utilized and it brings excitement back to the community.”

Now, that day has arrived. In 2015, the city was given a Redevelopment Fund Grant in the amount of $101,000 to demolish the old pink building and rebuild a new, modern corner store. 

The City of Madison leaders have long hoped that helping to establish a convenient corner shop would once again give local residents easy access to groceries and household products. 

Madison’s Downtown Development Authority was a key component to securing the store’s future, which identified the location to receive redevelopment funds. 

“The store was prioritized to bring groceries and convenience items back to a section of the city which is geographically isolated and foot traffic oriented,” said a press release from the City of Madison. 

According to the release, “DDA prioritized this type of project and funding source because of the win–win–win potential. A neighborhood is improved by the removal of a vacant eyesore, and modest households benefit from having convenience items within walking distance; the DDA executes one part of the Urban Redevelopment Plan, which works best when a multi–faceted and layered approach is implemented…”

The store will be open on Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be making and selling homemade biscuits as well as coffee every morning and then switching to serving sandwiches and other deli foods at lunchtime.  Some of the other items being sold in the store include crackers, chips, candy, condiments, soups, motor oil, cooking materials, and beverages such as water and soft drinks.

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