The small city of DuPont offers its homeowners plenty, except a place to buy groceries. For 46 years, the community across from Joint Base Lewis-McChord has not had a market, forcing residents to drive north to Lakewood or south to Lacey. The large military population often shops on-base.
However, plans for a DuPont General Store are now in the hands of Pierce County. If approved, it would open the door to the city’s first new grocery store in decades.
“Many people that have come and looked at growing in our community and looked at putting a store here are intimidated by the base,” said Mayor Michael Grayum. “It’s just across the street."
“No one’s ever been able to tell me why we can’t have a store,” he added.
A Stellacoom businesswoman plans to open the General Store by the end of 2013, ending years of frustration from city leaders.
“It’s more than just a grocery store,” said Mayor Grayum. “For us, it’s a place where the community is going to come together.”
Linda Duggan, who has lived in DuPont for two years, looks forward to being able to head into the center of town to shop, rather than head onto JBLM.
“There are times when you’re getting ready to cook and you’re missing an onion,” she explained, “You’re not going to drive all the way to the base for an onion.
“It’d be nice if there was a small store. I know I would go there.”