Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 19, 2004

Many gather for Pete's sake

By Lynda Jensen

More than 50 people gathered in Waverly to talk about saving Pete's Grocery Jan. 10 at the city office building.

The business may be sold or possibly close, owner Pete Chmielewski confirmed recently.

"There's a lot of support," commented resident Al Doering.

Many ideas were suggested, including making renovations and improving advertising, Doering said.

During the Waverly council meeting, Mayor Charlie Bush noted that the city is not able to financially do anything for a private business.

However, many are interested in trying to help the store stay alive.

"We're doing whatever it takes," Doering said.

Doering noted that Buffalo Lake had a system of helping local businesses survive by operating an interest-free loans from money donated by residents.

"It doesn't take much to keep a small business going," Doering noted.

In fact, if residents made one trip per month to a small business such as Pete's, this would keep the business afloat, Doering said.

Chmielewski has been operating for 25 years.

The group agreed to discuss the issue again, with a meeting being set for 2 p.m. Sat. Jan. 31 at the Humphrey Elementary School gym.

In the meantime, a small group will meet with Chmielewski, who did not attend the meeting.

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