Groundbreaking for Ogden’s Fareway sees community turnout, passion for town


Last Monday, October 4, was the groundbreaking for the new Fareway grocery store opening in Ogden sometime late in 2022. Mayor Pro-Tem Brian Reimers, Ogden Legacy’s Craig Christensen and Fareway CEO Reynolds W. Cramer all spoke to a large gathering where the old Clark’s Foodmart stood. Ground was broken by different groups in Boone County and Ogden. / Photo by Craig Shultz
By: 
Craig Shultz
Ogden Reporter Editor

Two years ago, an Ogden landmark was lost as Clark’s Food Mart sadly burned to the ground, leaving a vacancy on the corner of 302 E Walnut Street. However, through that two year span, businesses have started to come back to the community, and through that revitalization of downtown, it led to Fareway to make the decision to build a new grocery store where Clark’s stood for decades.

On Monday, October 4, the ground was broken to create a new story where the old one once stood. Community leaders from Ogden, Fareway CEO Reynolds W. Cramer, and the Ogden community in general came out to see the ceremonial new beginning on the corner.

“This is a great event for the city of Ogden,” Mayor Pro-Tem Brian Reimers said. “We welcome the Fareway family to the Ogden family. We’re really excited about you being here. This is a game changer for us.”

Reimers added they are excited about the future of Ogden. Ogden Legacy’s Craig Christensen then spoke to the crowd.

“There’s a big thanks that goes out to a lot of people in this crowd,” Christensen said. “We think this is happening because the store burned down and Fareway wanted to build in Ogden. Right now that’s the truth but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Christensen thanked a long list of people for making this all possible starting with Brent Clark. Clark had started talking to Ogden Legacy years ago about a transition, and had been a big help in facilitating this to happen for the town.

Ogden Legacy, past and present members, were thanked for their help.

“Their willingness to take on a project they know nothing about. We’re not in the grocery store business but to be able to do that, that is huge,” Christensen said.

He also praised the Ogden city council for their efforts and being forward thinking.

“Economic growth doesn’t happen just because we’re a neat little city,” Christensen said. “It happens because of leaders kinda pushing that. Reaching out and trying to make something happen.”

Members of the community donated over the years to help get a grocery store back in town along with the Leonard Good Trust. Christensen also thanked the leadership of different groups for helping to make it happen. He also noted the Iowa Economic Development Authority gave them great advice and resources.

Most of all, Christensen thanked Fareway.

“The easy way would’ve been to say there’s Fareway stores around and we can help you out and that’s the end of the conversation,” he said. “From the start they have been willing to talk to us, bounce ideas off, share information, work with us and treat us in a professional way, and I cannot thank you enough for what you’ve done and your belief in Ogden.”

He added the talks began about a year and a half ago, and to get a project like this, passionate people, belief, persistence and willingness to not to listen to the word no. Christensen hopes more and more happens up and down the main street of Ogden.

“On one other note too, we never wavered on Fareway,” Christensen added. “We wanted to work with the best, we wanted to work with what we felt was the number one grocer in Iowa, and that’s what we wanted in our town. This is the start of something cool here. This isn’t where it stops. It just starts with this anchor, a jewel for our city.”

Christensen believes this is the start of developments for housing or other new things for the town. He stated they don’t need to compete with a city like Waukee, Adel or Grimes, they just need to make the best Ogden can be, and this can be the start of it.

Fareway CEO Reynolds W. Cramer added he moved to Boone in the sixth grade and knew about Ogden, but never thought Fareway would be in the town.

“What happened? What happened was growth in the community, growth in the mindset of we need to expand, push on new homes and business,” he said. “And yes, an unfortunate situation happened here in this community. When these gentlemen and a few others approached us and had conversations, we were open, but weren’t sure if it’d make sense.”

Cramer said this is a great example of a lot of people putting a lot of pieces of the puzzle together to make a beautiful picture.

“As we look forward to, yes, not only today digging in this dirt to say that we’re here, we look forward to building this building and coming back and cutting that ribbon,” Cramer said. “And having all of you, and so many in the community, come here to support Fareway and this community. It’s an exciting time.”

Cramer also noted this might be one of the biggest groundbreakings he’s seen.

Construction is set to begin quickly and the estimate for completion is late 2022.

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