Jody’s Market, a downtown Lawrence microgrocery store, set to open in July

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Downtown Lawrence hasn’t been home to a grocery store in recent memory, but Reanna Slagle wants to close that gap. She plans to open Jody’s Market, a microgrocery store geared toward pedestrians, during the first week of July.

Located at 10 E. Ninth St., Suite C, Jody’s Market will be stocked with essentials like produce, flour, eggs, coffee, grab-and-go food and more.

Each category will feature just a few product types, with a focus on balancing affordable options with local and specialty brands. This small-batch buying model comes with an unexpected benefit.

“Jody’s Market will be very eco-friendly,” Slagle says. “We’ll have less waste, especially compared to larger grocery stores where, if a product gets close to being out of date, they just trash it. We’re focused on buying less and donating — or eating — anything that doesn’t sell.”

When she and her husband, Chad Slagle, lived in larger cities, they realized the convenience of having smaller markets, known as bodegas, for getting staples without having to leave the neighborhood. This mindset has guided Slagle to make intentional choices about her product inventory.

Lawrence Lowdown

“We’ve thought about and talked to people who live in downtown apartments, service industry folks who are walking by, employees at the Arts Center taking their lunch breaks,” Slagle says. “What might they need to buy?”

Independent grocers are deeply embedded in the communities in which they operate, and in turn, can be more responsive to their customers’ needs. Because of this, independent grocers are thriving in the face of a challenging environment dominated by large chains. According to the National Grocers Association, independent grocers account for 33% of all grocery sales, exceeding $250 billion annually, and more than 1.1 million American jobs. They also tend to reinvest more profits back into their local economies, per Green America.

To maximize the customer base she can serve, Slagle is focused on making Jody’s Market accessible. She wants to meet people where they are, not only in regards to price and location, but also disabilities and dietary considerations.

Jordan Winter/Lawrence Times Jody’s Market is located on Ninth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets in downtown Lawrence.

“I’m trying to tap into what every single customer’s mind might be,” she says. “I’m going through the store, making sure people can get around easily with a walker or wheelchair. I’m focusing on different food products for people with allergies or who might be vegetarian or vegan.”

To further serve the community, Slagle is sourcing as many products as possible from local brands. Customers can expect to see names like Repetition Coffee, Wild Alive Ferments, and Stone & Sparrow Farm and Mill on the shelves at Jody’s Market.

“It’s a really cool feeling to support these small, family-owned businesses,” she says. “One of the orders we received today had a handwritten note on it, and that was so special.”

Slagle has one exception for local brands she won’t carry: Those that are already located downtown.

“We won’t sell bread from Wheatfields because it’s a block away,” Slagle says. “I want to share the wealth with other businesses downtown. Let’s get people moving around to the other shops, the restaurants, the bars.”

When it comes to sharing the love, there’s one person in particular that’s most important to Slagle: Jody, her mother, who passed away suddenly three years ago.

“I’m the first one in my family to ever own a business, to go to school. I did come from, I guess, poverty; I grew up in a single-wide trailer. My mom was always the tough one. No matter what she went through, she persevered and was bright and bubbly,” Slagle says.

“My mom was the backbone of the entire family, so this is a tribute to put her name out there. Hopefully that legacy lives on.”

Following Jody’s Market’s Facebook and Instagram for updates, and learn more at

Jordan Winter/Lawrence Times Jody’s Market branding reminds customers that they’re supporting a small, woman-owned business.
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Jordan Winter (she/her), a contributor to The Lawrence Times, is a 2019 KU grad with degrees in journalism and political science.

Check out her work at See more of her work for the Times here.

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