Bargain Mart Leaves Gap in North Aberdeen Grocery Shopping

In profoundly local news, the quality of life in my northern Aberdeen neighborhood took a serious hit last week with the temporary (we hope) closure of Bargain Mart. Rain last Monday caused part of the roof at the rear of the store to collapse. On Friday, an engineer from the insurance company said the North Main building needs a new roof (what? we pay money for advice like that?).

I love Bargain Mart. I have referred to the store to friends as “the used-grocery store.” No, I haven’t found any half-eaten granola bars, but I have found Power Bars for 20 cents apiece. Bargain Mart brings in groceries that have been on the shelf elsewhere and passed their expiration date but are still perfectly edible. I can stop on my way home up Main Street and get a backpackful of bike snacks for a deal that no one in town beats.

Bargain Mart doesn’t have everything, but it provides old-fashioned corner-grocery convenience for the northwest quadrant of Aberdeen, within walking distance for a lot folks who aren’t Aberdeen’s richest. With Bargain Mart closed, my neighbors looking for cheap supper or snacks have to go out of the way to Shopko on 281 or an extra mile south and east to the traffic chaos at Kessler’s.

Let’s hope Bargain Mart can find some better-than-bargain steel and shingles so the store can reopen and I can restock my stash of bike bars and potato chips (not to mention that cooler by the door with random pop for 50 cents!)

5 Responses to Bargain Mart Leaves Gap in North Aberdeen Grocery Shopping

  1. Sounds like Bargain Mart should hold a crazy days sale right now to clear inventory.

  2. The fire department taped the building and hasn’t allowed anyone in, not even the owner. I would think they would find a way to allow the staff in the retrieve the food and hold exactly such an inventory reduction sale. (Crazy Day was Saturday, but I was in Brookings… and a thunderstorm blew through mid-p.m. and shut down the street sales for a bit.)

  3. Daniel Buresh

    That seems odd that the owner can’t go in unless the risk for injury is too high. Normally, after the fire investigation is over, the property is turned back over to the owner and the liability is on them. I can’t imagine the investigation is still open that they would need to secure the scene for so long….but it is possible. If the place is deemed too unsafe, it is also possible that no one may be let in due to the insurance companies orders. I doubt they could retrieve any food that was exposed to the elements. It’s all about risk these days and no one can afford to take one. One person hurt and it will make that lost food look like peanuts.

  4. Also, all the food that may have been exposed to smoke could be (most likely is) tainted with highly carcinogenic residue. The contents inside the package may be fine, but on the outside could be some pretty nasty stuff.

  5. No fire, Joe! Just roof collapse. The section that collapsed was toward the back of the store, apparently away from many of the display shelves, so most of the groceries inside could be undamaged. I’m not sure Daniel’s concern about food exposed to the elements would apply: Bargain Mart has some perishable dairy and meat in the coolers but little produce; most of the products are packaged goods. Do any state statutes govern sale of such items after exposure to the elements?