WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 04, 2011, 08:50 AM

Residents Provide 'Hope' For Important Small Town Store

Hope, ND (WDAY TV) - In the small town of Hope, ND, people are rallying around their longtime downtown gathering place. A March snowstorm dropped nearly two feet of snow in Hope, not just on the streets, but on the roof top of Mick's Grocery store, even collapsing part of the roof.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

On Wednesdays, crates of crackers and maple nut ice cream are unloaded from a semi truck at Mic's Grocery in Hope.

And as Kevin McCullough and his employees re-stock the shelves, others in the store are getting the noon meal ready; Real mashed potatoes here.

But as the regulars play a little 6-5-4, there is concern here at Mic's Grocery and café. A March snowstorm damaged the roof so much that part of collapsed.

"It was well over two feet deep on the roof," McCullough said.

All the boards and plastic aren't for decoration. In fact, they're helping hold up the ceiling in the store. But, it's not a permanent fix and it's like the insurance company will not allow the store to remain open much longer.

"We've got a pretty good history of pulling together," Hope Mayor Gary Ihry said.

The store has been in the McCullough family since the 1960's. Now the town of Hope is working with him and asking the customers and residents here to help put up a new building for Mic's Grocery.

"If you don't have these (stores) in these small towns, then what's the next thing? Pretty quickly you don't have a Main Street," Ihry said.

People like Ilma Bowen of Hope need the store. A place to eat, shop and she likes to keep it local.

You won't find many cafe stores like this anymore. Hope likes its economic development in town, and the people living here know, without a store and cafe, a town loses its social soul.

That must be why they call the place Hope.