Rural Grocery Store Challenge… Which is the Arugula Aisle?

Though a lot of folks want a big chain supermarket in rural areas like Hickman County, I try to remind people that the answer to their want for better grocery choices may be improved local or regional based grocery stores. Kansas State University’s Center for Engagement and Community Development has recognized rural grocery stores’ importance to economic and community development and has established an initiative to develop and sustain them. The Rural Grocery Store Initiative website at has some good information on best practices for grocers and rural communities. Though specifically geared toward Kansas, much of the information is relevant to rural grocery retailers in Tennessee.

About Daryl Phillips, CEcD

I am a professional economic developer. I presently work for communities and companies in developing and implementing workforce and economic development solutions as CEO of Phillips Economic Development Solutions (Phi EDS). Prior to September 2017, I was the economic development professional who served a community team of elected officials, business people, community leaders and dedicated stakeholders for economic development in Cheatham County, Tennessee (pop. 39,880) and its four towns. During my five-year tenure, I served the team as Cheatham County grew over 1,700 jobs, turned around population declines at the start of this decade into healthy population growth, increased tourism expenditures 20.3% and local tax revenue from tourism 25.4%, grew sales tax revenue 36%, focused on developing the local workforce and was recognized by SmartAsset as having the 9th highest Incoming Investment Index of all the 95 counties in Tennessee. I am a member of International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Tennessee Economic Development Council and International Council of Shopping Centers. I have earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from National Development Council and hold a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
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