New Fairfax Grocery opens for business

Geneva HorseChief-HamiltonON Communications

Fresh healthy foods are available again in the southwestern Osage County town of Fairfax.

The rural community is located on the Osage Nation Reservation and includes the smaller Osage community of Grayhorse or Pah.Soo.Lee. Since 2011 residents, including several Osage Nation tribal members, have had to travel more than thirty minutes to purchase fresh healthy foods. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new store, Fairfax Venture Foods, on Tuesday, March 24. Doors will open for business on Wednesday, March 25.

“I’m excited that we’re going to have fresh foods and produce and we can eat healthier,” said Carol Conner, a Fairfax resident who attended the ribbon cutting with her husband Joe.

She said for several years members of the community had to purchase most of their food at a general store that stocks mostly processed and canned foods. She added, “…when my family from out-of-town comes to see me they always ask me if I need anything from the store.”

Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn took part in the ribbon cutting with store owner Lane Moore, store employees and residents.

“Today is a beautiful day and we are in a great location for a great occasion,” said Standing Bear. “The [Fairfax] community has needed this store for several years. When Assistant Chief Red Corn and I were elected we picked up from where the community members were working and we just supported their efforts.”

The store is owned by ALLS Grocery Inc. and the Osage Nation provided start-up resources such as shelving, energy efficient appliances, and remodeling, according to Red Corn. Appropriations for the store were supported by Osage Nation Congress during special session in November 2014. ONCA 15-05 appropriated $300,000 to invest in the store.

Moore, owner of ALLS Grocery Inc., also owns four other small town stores, two in Colorado and two more in Oklahoma. The Fairfax store is their fifth store. Moore said there is a way to make money in rural America and that the contrary is a misconception.

“[My family] grew up in small towns…you can’t run [small town grocery stores] like a big city business, the customer service is different the inventory is handled a little different but if you do it right you can make a profit,” Moore said.

ALLS is a family owned business and Moore’s son Logan Moore is the new general manager at Fairfax Venture Foods.

“We’re really looking forward to becoming part of the Fairfax community,” said Logan, “Fairfax needs a grocery store, it’s a town of 1,300 people, a grocery store is the heart of a town…without a grocery store all your business and all your tax dollars go somewhere else, if the tax dollars stay here that helps the schools and that helps everybody.”

Fairfax Venture Foods is located 201 North Main Street, Fairfax. Call (918)642-1390 for more information.