New Grocery Store Planned In Mannford A Sign Of Growth After Devastation

Friday, October 25th 2013, 5:08 pm
By: Craig Day

It's always nice when businesses expand and more people find jobs, but the news of a new business opening in Mannford is extra special for some people.

For one woman, it's a symbol of lifting up the community.

Phelps Market broke ground for a new grocery store in Mannford, off Highway 51, Friday.

There are a lot of positives.

"Revenue, jobs, they already have over 50 employees, and they'll also have an additional 30 to add to that," said Mannford Chamber of Commerce Director Rita Bougher.

Plus, it will give people in the area a better option for shopping.

"You know, there's no place to shop, we have to go all the way to Sand Springs or to Cleveland to do our shopping," said Mannford resident Anita Campbell.

The symbolic turning of the dirt for a planned 27,000-square-foot Phelps Market grocery store, is also symbolic of a community pushing forward, especially in an area where people have been through so much adversity.

10/21/2012 Related Story: Creek County Wildfire Victims Move Forward; Suspect Still On The Run

Last August, in a matter of only a few days, wildfires destroyed nearly 400 homes west of Mannford. Nearly 60,000 acres burned. So many families lost everything.

"I cry, because it's your life savings," said wildfire victim Claudine Holden. "You've just got to go forward. It's hard, it is very hard to do it."

Bougher said, "Our community came together with love and support for each other and have helped each other every single day.

And now it's time for growth. That growth will help Mannford focus more on the future, instead of what was lost.

"We've had too much bad news, we need some good news, and this is great news," Campbell said.

Construction of the new Phelps Market is expected to be finished this next spring.