After nearly 12 years of having to drive to Shawnee for groceries, residents of Meeker finally have a grocery store in their own town.
On May 15, Anthony Buoy, 23, and his father opened Anthony's Grocery, 316 S. Dawson in Meeker.
Meeker had been without a grocery store for about 12 years, meaning residents previously drove more 12 miles for basic items like bread and milk.
Buoy recently graduated from East Central University and is using this store to put his entrepreneurial skills to the test.
"I just graduated college with a business entrepreneurship degree," Buoy said. "I like owning my own business and I want to see Meeker be a successful town."
Buoy, a native of Meeker, said he wants to see his hometown flourish. Opening a grocery store is convenient for the town and is another step toward greater economic development, he added.
"I really like seeing all the people and seeing the community come in and out of here," Buoy said. "It's not money or anything like that. I like to see all the familiar faces."
Jim Ledbetter lives in Meeker with his wife Patti and their daughter, Kayla.
Jim said having a grocery store in Meeker saves his family from driving an extra 14 miles.
"It's great," he said. "It's more convenient to come here than to go to Wal-Mart."
Patti said she thinks the produce at Anthony's Foods is better than produce at the grocery stores in surrounding towns.
"The vegetables are fresher than the ones we get at Wal-Mart, too," she said.
Anthony's Food is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The store is closed Sundays.