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Rural Grocery Initiative

Small Town Grocery with a Twist

In a small, Swedish-based community that boasts a population of 226 people, one grocery store has found a way to meet the unique needs of their community, and beyond.

Loberg Grocery Inc. is native to the modest town of Olsburg, Kan. The store itself has stood in the settlement since the early 1900’s and has exchanged hands with several owners during that time. Current owner, Erin Gutsch, recognized the need both in the business and the community to take the store further. Loberg Grocery now offers catering services, a restaurant, and features events such as 3rd Friday Acoustic Jams that include musicians, drinks, snacks, and conversation. Most recently, Loberg Grocery brought their smoked brisket to Olsburg’s Fall Festival in early September.

Reviews warmly describe Loberg Grocery Inc. as “home cooked meals the way they should be” and a way to “experience that little lost part of ‘Mayberry’ that we all long for.” The popular chicken fried steak dinner is a frequent mention as well. Remaining cognizant of Olsburg’s Swedish history, Gutsch introduces potato sausage every winter. People drive from as far as Missouri to get a taste of the dish that has been a Loberg Grocery legend for decades.

The 3rd Friday Jams are a unique way to involve the community. Gutsch invites local musicians and offers a meal to all who attend and perform. Being located in a small area, Gutsch said “It’s important to have something for the people in town to do.”

“Community involvement is key,” said Gutsch. She also enjoys the opportunity to see the community members daily and provide a service. “Everyone’s glad that you’re here,” said Gutsch.

Being there for the community is its own reward. Gutsch said that patrons will often volunteer to help if she is ever short staffed. “It’s family,” she said. “You want to help everyone out. You’re not on your own.”