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Fields Foods grocery store opens Tuesday in Pagedale

The store will provide essentials in an area that had become a food desert.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Fields Foods is opening Tuesday night in Pagedale.

Fields Foods owner Chris Goodson renovated the former Save-A-Lot, but he and the organization that owns the property are building something bigger.

Goodson gave 5 On Your Side a tour of the store, located at Page and Ferguson.

“You’ll see dairy here, and why don’t we take a little walk over here, through the construction material,” he said. “This is all the equipment that will be ready for the fresh produce.”

Goodson concerns himself with details inside the location of his fifth St. Louis-area grocery store, but his focus is not limited to these shelves.

“Catching a glimpse outside,” he said, looking out the window, “This is a little Main Street, here ... and Beyond Housing is very responsible for that. As I look out, I see a movie theater that they did, Affinia Healthcare and Midwest Bank Center.”

“We approached Goodson when we knew Save-A-Lot was going to close,” Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of Beyond Housing, said. “Our question was -- who can come here?”

Beyond Housing actually owns the building. Goodson pays no rent. At a certain agreed upon point, Beyond Housing will share in the profits.

“It’s a great and unique model,” Krehmeyer said. “Hopefully it disproves the notion that communities like this can’t support businesses that, quite frankly, are what make up successful places.”

While Goodson is in the business of stocking grocery store shelves, you might say his calling is in construction – building civic momentum.

Goodson said, “Another big section that we’re going to expand a little more than our other stores is our health and beauty sections. We’re not only in a food desert, here, there’s also not a lot of amenity products offered in the area for several miles. So, we’re going to have a big health and beauty section here for all the neighborhood.”

Goodson again turned his attention beyond the walls of his store.

“You can kind of see there’s a picture of Pagedale 50 years ago,” he said, referring to a banner in the front lobby. “We want to bring that activity and density back to this main street here, and you build off that.”

The Pagedale location is the only Fields Foods store in a building owned by Beyond Housing.

The other four Fields Foods stores are located in Lafayette Square, on Washington Avenue, next to the new soccer stadium, in Dogtown, and at Forest Park Parkway and DeBaliviere Place. 

Regarding hiring, Goodson cited Henry Ford, who said he wanted his employees to prosper so they could buy his products.

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