Clayton, Oklahoma: population just over 1,000, welcomed the first grocery store owned by the Choctaw Nation on August 9.
Choctaw Nation leaders, town and state officials, and residents crowded around Choctaw Country Market for the morning ribbon cutting ceremony, at 121 S. Highway 271 (U.S. Hwy 271 at OK Hwy 2) on the southwest end of Clayton.
"It is a part of the vision of this council,” said Chief Gary Batton at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. “We could not do this without their support. They want to make sure that our smaller communities thrive and do well. Without this, I don't know if Clayton would be here 20 years from now. This is making sure we keep Clayton alive, growing and prospering. To me Clayton is starting to be put on the map, and I'm glad to see that.”
The new venture is the start of even more area grocery stores, Tim Locke, general manager, said in the press release.
“This is going to be a blessing to the Clayton community, the Choctaw people and everybody. It's a great store," District 7 Councilman Jack Austin Sr. said. “Tim has a great staff. You walk in, get a smile and they're ready to serve you,” Austin said.
Tuesday Aug. 9, Chief Gary Batton, right, with scissors, andDistrict 7 Councilman Jack Austin Sr. prepare to cut the ribbon opening the Choctaw Country Market in Clayton. They are joined by Choctaw Nation Councilmen, Choctaw Nation citizens and employee
Following the much-anticipated Choctaw Country Market's soft opening August 3, the store's business has been booming. Beyond in-person store visits, numerous phone-in catering orders came in preparation for Labor Day festivites.
The 11,000-squar-foot grocery store also offers a 10-pump, auto and truck fueling station (including diesel fuel) on site. Affiliated Foods supplies food and convenience products for the store, which will offer great service, affordable prices, a variety of fresh produce, made-to-order meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a deli with pre-packaged meals to-go. There is an on-site butcher preparing fresh-cut meats daily, including chops, steaks and ground meats.
The grocery store has created 24 jobs, and more position openings are anticipated.
Special amenities include a walk-in cooler, and comfortable 45-seat dining area with surrounding walls that depict original murals illustrating Choctaw heritage.
The store is open seven days weekly, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Choctaw Country Market can be reached at 918-569-7577 or by visiting www.ChoctawCountryMarket.com.
To continue celebrating the store's debut, the store will host drawings for $100 gift certificates, grills, and free milk for a year. The deadline to enter for the drawings is 3 p.m. Saturday, August 13; the drawings wil take place later that day.