Mackinaw IGA

Mackinaw IGA

At the corner of N. Main and Fast Ave. sits a pillar of the Mackinaw community - a building in which every resident of Mackinaw has visited, most on a weekly basis. Honestly, it would be tough to overstate the relationship Mackinaw IGA has with the community. If it’s possible for a small-town grocery store to transcend into something much more, Mackinaw IGA has surely reached that status. 

Sitting down to speak with owner Brett Zehr, it became clear to me that there is indeed something special in that store. Many residents may remember September 3, 2008: the day that IGA was lost to a fire. Brett discussed this loss with me in a manner that was surprisingly warm. He pointed out that he had overwhelming community support and that support was the reason he was able to reopen on September 2, 2009 - just one day short of his year goal to reopen. He speaks of a parking lot full of people who came down to show their support. I also got a good laugh at Brett’s insistence to shake hands with everyone who came down that day. 

Regarding the events of 2020, the discussion with Brett turned a bit more serious. “I did not want this community to be out of food”, Brett said, adding that there were weeks where he was spending around 100 hours at the store. Even though some items needed to be limited, he felt that he needed to do that at the time to make sure everyone had some of what they needed. Through a large smile, Brett points out that the store was only out of toilet paper for a total of 4 days.

On a last note, hurry down to enjoy their sandwiches and hot dogs. They’ll be gone once the weather turns!

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