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June 19, 2013

Supermarket starts construction in Oologah


Apple Market, Doc’s Food Stores and Associated Wholesale Grocers will host a ground breaking at 1 p.m. on Monday at Hwy. 169 and Hwy. 88 in Oologah.
When completed, the supermarket will contain 19,000 sq. ft. on a three-acre site, purchased from Lakeside State Bank, on the north half of a vacant lot bordered on the north and west by Lake and Maple Streets.
Apple Market in Oologah will be owned and operated by Doc’s Food Stores, Inc., headquartered in Bixby. 
Jim Brown is president and chief executive officer of the second and third generation, family-owned chain of six stores. The seventh store is slated to open by year’s end with 40 full- and part-time employees.  
“We’ve been looking for areas to expand our business and Oologah is a perfect fit for our business model,” said Brown.  “We love small communities where we can get to know all of our customers on a one-on-one basis.”
Brown and his family currently operate three Country Mart stores in Bixby, Glenpool and Coweta as well as three Apple Markets in Watonga, Fairview and Newkirk.  
The Browns pride themselves on being big supporters of their communities and providing personal service to their customers. 
Brown believes the upscale style of the store will be a good fit for the people of Oologah and surrounding communities. The business also is expected to increase the annual tax revenue to the area.
A total investment of $4.4 million for land, facilities, in store fixtures and equipment includes $2.8 million to be reimbursed through a Tax Increment Finance District from increased sales tax collections generated by store sales.  
The identification of an experienced and interested grocer affiliated with Associated Wholesale Grocers and a feasibility study sponsored by Rogers County Industrial Development Authority led to a concerted effort beginning in March 2011.  Site acquisition research, construction cost estimates, organization of the tax increment district, etc. led to the Oologah Trustees approval of a TIF ordinance in March 2012 and later the project development plan.
Finalizing finance options, purchasing and engineering the property, designing the facility, selecting a contractor and resolving site preparation and permitting issues consumed the last 15 months but there are no known impediments remaining.

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