The city of Waco, Texas, is due to open a grocery store in an area of the town that is “poor” and “neglected”. It will be a nonprofit initiative operated by Mission Waco and called Jubilee Store.
The present structure was, in fact, at one time a grocery store operated by the Safeway Company, which once had 322 stores in Texas, some by different names. However, it ceased operations several years ago and the building has been vacant and vandalized since it closed.
Mission Waco has come to the rescue and there are dozens of civic minded enterprises or individuals who want to help out.
Chief among the contributors are the Gaineses of Magnolia Market and “fixer Upper” fame. They have donated the auctioned items from the historic Elite Café that they bought earlier.
Of course everyone now wants to get into the act and I have heard from unreputable sources that the following have now contributed, or at least are thinking about it:
- The HEB Butts Family foundation, whose mission is the renewal of society through the church, is offering to place their HEB label on all cans of beans and tomato soup;
- Walgreens is donating all their old packages of toothbrushes and toothpaste;
- CVS, not to be outdone, is offering a case of dental floss;
- Office Depot have guaranteed at least 7 office chairs that they have not been able to sell;
- The Waco Zoo has three reptiles that are non-venomous and could be contained in glass enclosures near the cash registers to help customers be as honest as possible;
- Barnes & Noble have several children’s books that can be positioned on carts for the youngsters to read while mom (or pop) shops;
- Home Depot has a number of wilted plants that will look good in the store windows;
- Not to be outdone, Lowes is contributing three containers of Round-UP weed killer;
- Walmart immediately offered 12 rather well-used shopping carts;
- Not to be outdone, Target offered the use of their “any sex goes here” toilets, if customers can wait that long;
- Sam’s will give all Jubilee store customers a reduced rate ($25) membership card.
- Not to be outdone, CostCo will offer Jubilee regulars free parking and introductory membership cards for $19.99.
- The Egg & I will, every Friday, scramble all eggs over a month old and send them to the Jubilee store employees.
- Scott & White Health Plan will offer medical insurance to the store employees at half the price of Obama Care.
- Not to be outdone, both Hillcrest and Providence Hospitals will donate one night at the hospital with full IC care.
- The McLennan County Tax Appraisal Office promised the store that they will “take the utmost care in assessing the property” and have provided 100 appeal forms.
- The Waco Police Department has promised that they would not shoot or taser anyone during the first month that the store is open; after that, they cannot promise;
- Baylor University will donate 13 old football jerseys and 10 cracked helmets for display;
- Every church in Waco—and there are 450 of them—has promised to purchase at least one loaf of bread during the first month the store is in operation; there is also a promise that none of them will use the bread for communion services.
- Toys R Us will provide fake guns and holsters for all check-out cashiers to wear;
- Not to be outdone, Ashley’s Furniture will provide leather cushions for the check-out cashiers to sit on;
- Both Wells Fargo and the Bank of America will provide fake cash for any robberies.
- Waco Nurseries will provide fake (plastic, but renewable) flowers;
- Not to be outdone, Waco landscaping will provide fake grass and shrubbery.
I could go on because there has been no end to the outpouring of good will towards the store. As one local business man said, “Nothing is too good for this Mission Waco grocery store.”
A late note: Several of the eateries along Valley Mills have offered to send their surplus vegetables and meat to the store, once it has been outdated.
And finally, the Waco Tribune Herald has offered to run a full one-page advertisement for the Mission Waco grocery store, beginning the second Wednesday after the store opens and continuing for a full month. The cost will be minimal and “generous”.