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2019 Outstanding Independents, Community Outreach: Treppendahl’s Super Foods, Woodville, MS

Running a grocery store in a low-income area comes with some unique challenges, but it also provides an opportunity to play an instrumental role in the community. This is a role that Wettlin Treppendahl Jr., owner of Treppendahl’s Super Foods, takes seriously. The store supports as many churches, schools, sports teams and nonprofits as it can within a 30-mile radius of Woodville, Miss., which is 30 miles from Natchez.

Educating the youth of the area is a key concern.

“People need an education … kids to go off and better themselves and get an education,” Treppendahl says.

To that end, the store offers support to a number of local public and private schools, either through donations or scholarships, or by offering a place to host fundraisers. Treppendahl also plays a personal role by speaking in the schools and encouraging children to “do the right things now,” he notes. “Don’t wait until you get a ticket and start thinking about, ‘Well, I need to start doing the right thing.’ You’ve got to do the right things to start off with.”

It’s not just students that receive a helping hand from Treppendahl’s, however. Adults have also found a second chance at the store. One gentleman “rents” a 600-square-foot space next door to operate a shoeshine business, a skill he learned while in prison.

And sometimes, it’s the small things that can really make a difference in the community. Treppendahl’s donates ice for all functions in Woodville, whether it’s a wedding, a church gathering or a school social.

“We supply the ice for everything,” Treppendahl affirms. “I mean, it’s not a big thing, but it is a big thing. It is one less expense that organizers have to worry about, and it provides plenty of good will within the community.”

About the Author

Kat Martin

Kat Martin was senior editor of Progressive Grocer.

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