The Riverbend Farm Mercantile family and staff celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting last Saturday, July 27. PHOTOS BY MICHELLE WATERS

The Riverbend Farm Mercantile family and staff celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting last Saturday, July 27. PHOTOS BY MICHELLE WATERS

Riverbend Farm Mercantile celebrated its grand opening last weekend and is ready to serve the community safe and healthy food fit for the whole family.

Owned and operated by a family who has been a staple to the community, Riverbend farm celebrating almost 40 years, right down the road from the Mercantile, has given tours in the pumpkin patch for school groups and families for 20 years and has delighted visitors with feeding goats and a quick stop by the ice cream stand.

Over at Riverbend Farm Mercantile, customers will still enjoy the friendly ser- vice of Riverbend employees and ice cream, plus a whole line of products from local sources and Dutch farms in Penn. Owner Mary Little says the idea has been churning for a long time in their family to open a store and now seemed like the right time.

“This is something we have wanted to do for quite a few years. The longer we put it off the more we realized how many people in the community are struggling, being laid off, put on disability etc,” said Little. “Everyone needs a more reasonably priced place to shop for food items. We offer healthy food items and some that are not so healthy. We have a lot of customers that need gluten free products, and we are working on starting on a small line of diabetic products.”

Customers will find herbs, dip and soup mixes, candy, old-fashioned drinks, ice cream and local honey from Cabarrus County among the many aisles of products. Ninety- five percent of the products are from Dutch Alley Foods in Lancaster, Penn.

“They give us a good price and we can pass it on to our customers,” said Little. “That’s basically what it’s about: better line of food and an easier price for customers to pay.”

Riverbend also sells handmade wood and woven merchandise to support missionaries who work alongside Live Again ministries in Locust to provide clean water systems in Honduras.Little’sdaughter and son-in-law have volunteered with Live Again for the past five years, and all profits go towards funding their mission trips.

Mayor Kathy Kitts, council member Mike Tallent, and representatives from the Cabarrus County Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate with the Mercantile staff and family at the grand opening last Saturday, July 27

“We hope this offers people low cost, health- ful options that will allow them to cook to save them in the budget and to be healthful for their families,” said Kitts.

Riverbend Farms Mercantile is located at 3101 Hwy. 24/27 in Midland and is open from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, and on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm.