Main Street Kansas: Small grocery store has big impact in Little River

David Nelson helps a customer in his grocery store, the Garden of Eden in Little River, Kansas. (Photo courtesy KSN News)

LITTLE RIVER, Kan. (KSNW) – Tonight’s Main Street Kansas takes us to Rice County. And there is where you will find the town of Little River.

KSN photojournalist Raoul Cortez takes us to the Garden of Eden. It’s not a garden outside, it’s a grocery store.

David Nelson has always lived in Little River. Nelson, along with his wife decided to buy the Garden of Eden grocery store 12 years ago.

“I talked to my wife about it and I said ‘what do you think about buying the store?’ and she said, ‘we don’t know nothing about grocery business,'” explained Nelson.

That didn’t stop them.

“The biggest growing pain was learning how to cut meat,” said Nelson. “I had no idea how to do it. Every chunk of meat looked the same to me.”

The Nelsons turned to the community to learn more about what their customers wanted to see on the shelves. They also offer a grocery delivery service.

“If they don’t have it they usually try and get it for us so, it’s great,” said Maggie Neufeld, shopper at the Garden of Eden.

Little River Mayor Don Teeters said the small store is absolutely essential for the area.

“If you don’t have a place to buy your groceries that you need,” said Teeters. “You are going to go to another town to shop for them.”

Nelson agrees.

“I’ll bet you everybody in town shows up here at least once a week,” said Nelson.

If you find yourself in Little River, the Garden of Eden is open seven days a week.

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