Yukon grocery stores, churches, chamber

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It’s interesting to see how Yukon’s grocery store landscape has evolved over nearly three decades.

I’ve been skeptical about whether Yukon will ever get a Crest store.

I’ve heard rumors about Crest coming to Yukon for more than a decade. The first time was the mid-2000s when Crest looked at property on Yukon’s Main Street where the former Jackie Cooper auto dealership had been. No tax-rebate deal was struck, and that site ultimately became the new home of Discovery Church.

Then six years ago, I attended a Yukon City Council meeting when an out-of-state developer announced a tentative agreement was reached with Crest to build a store near Integris Canadian Valley Hospital. This was going to be part of a major development that would include a new hotel and conference center.

Soon after that made headlines in the Saturday edition, we heard rumblings the public announcement was premature!

So when I recently learned Crest was looking at property south of NW 10th off Czech Hall Road, I wasn’t convinced.

Acting on a tip, I decided last week to pick up the phone and call (yes, that’s still done) Crest’s corporate headquarters in Edmond. I wanted to get the scoop. Are we getting a Crest and when?

I was pleased to receive a call back from Crest’s president and third-generation owner Bruce Harroz.

Bruce confirmed that Crest Foods indeed will build a 90,000 square foot “fresh market” store in the Market at Czech Hall development south of Interstate 40 on the west side of Czech Hall Road.

This seems to be a prime spot for retailers. Unfortunately, the City of Yukon receives no direct sales tax benefit because all land south of 10th Street is Oklahoma City limits.

Still, the new Crest will help bring people to this area. My hope is this new store will further encourage shoppers to visit retailers like Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Staples, Target and others on the north side of 10th Street in Yukon! Look for more traffic lights on 10th …

Bruce Harroz estimated Crest’s ninth store, open 24 hours a day, will be open in fall 2020 while bringing 150-175 jobs to the Yukon area.

When I came to Yukon in 1991, we had three grocery stores. My favorite was Snyder’s IGA at 10 W Main. That was where you knew the owner (Jim Snyder) and manager (Emil Albrecht) and had your bags carried to your car.

There was Howard’s Bestyet in the Chisholm shopping center at Garth Brooks Boulevard and Vandament. That space is now occupied by Goodwill’s thrift store.

The third Yukon grocery in the early ‘90s was Safeway at Vandament and Cornwell, led by friendly, cherubic manager Phil Thomason. Over the years, the name of that store changed several times – later Homeland, Buy For Less and now the “cost-plus” Smart Saver.

Then a Walmart Supercenter opened in 1992 offering a full selection of groceries. For a short time in the early ‘90s, we had two Yukon-area Food Lions but a Dateline investigative report involving bleached chicken shut those stores down fast.

I recall the excitement when Homeland opened a new store south of I-40 and east of Mustang Road to replace one Food Lion. The other old Food Lion building now houses the Mabel C. Fry Library and Dale Robertson Center.

The Yukon-area had those five grocery stores for a while until the “Founders Square” Albertson’s opened in 1999 behind Canadian State Bank at Cornwell and 10th Street. That was a huge deal!

Well, several other places now provide residents with grocery options – Walmart Neighborhood Market, Aldi, Target, Sprouts, and even Dollar General (for those on a real tight budget).

I’m anxious to see how Crest will impact our food shopping habits when it opens next fall in the Market at Czech Hall.

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A multi-church Yukon school supply drive turned out better than expected. Several thousand people converged on The Good Fight Church on Aug. 10 for the fourth annual event.

It was a great back-to-school celebration organized by The Good Fight Church with support from six local church partners.

An estimated 917 local students received new school supplies to start the new school year off right! This effort is designed to help families who cannot afford to buy their children school supplies.

It makes sense for churches to come together for events like this – and this June’s “One Church Yukon Party at the Park”.

It’s great to see the Yukon Ministerial Alliance provide opportunities like this for our faith community.

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It may be difficult to fathom, but your Yukon Chamber of Commerce already is ramping up plans for its annual gala next January. The first gala committee meeting, in fact, is next week.

“A Night Among the Stars” is the theme of the awards banquet recognizing the chamber’s contributors and celebrating its year.

The year 2019 has been a milestone one for the Yukon Chamber, which surpassed the 500-member mark.

To celebrate this accomplishment, a can’t-miss “Fantanza 500 Festival” will be Monday, Sept. 9 at the 10 West Main events center.

The Yukon Chamber’s family friendly “500 Club” celebration will feature a drawing for $500, free popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, funnel cakes, chili dogs, and cotton candy.