Baxter Mayor John Martin met with leaders from a large grocery chain this week with the intent to bring them to Baxter.
Martin held his cards close to the chest on the details of the meeting. The identity of the grocery chain unknown. But Martin said he left the meeting feeling confident.
“I felt good, of course you never know until you get that phone call,” Martin said. “All we could do was give them the numbers. We did a very good presentation. It’s kind of in their hands now.”
Martin said the main selling point for Baxter is its growth.
“We gave them all the numbers of the homes that have been approved and that has been built from the past six months or so,” Martin said. “We also gave them a good presentation of all the homes that stood on outskirts of Baxter that will be coming to this new store if we get this. There is a tremendous amount of people that will support this.”
Martin said the community has a strong interest in bringing in a larger grocery store. Martin said he gets questions about that at every turn. The community already has plans in the works for two dollar-type stores with some line of groceries.
“Every day when you walk down the street, wherever I go, wherever the council goes, the question is when are you getting a grocery store,” Martin said. “That’s been going on for years. It’s time, and I think it’ll be beneficial to our community.”
Martin said he is now just waiting for a phone call. The proposal is now in the hands of the grocery store chain’s marketing team. Martin said Baxter is growing quick, and he wants the city to keep growing.
“Virtually, everyday people call and ask do you have a building available that we can come and rent and start a business,” Martin said. “We have some buildings available and they are filling up fast. The problem is a lot of people won’t sell their property to build in downtown.”
Martin said he understands some citizens have concerns with Baxter growing so rapidly.
“I know people say don’t destroy our little town,” Martin said. “We are not going to do that, we are going to build our little town, the downtown of our city.”
Baxter is bringing in several new businesses including an arcade with a golf simulator, Dollar Tree and Dollar General Market. They are also in talks to bring in a new doctor and ice cream shop.