The Little Store opening in former Eden Market building

The former Eden Market is reopening on Lower River Road as The Little Store.

Michael Goulet owns the business and was working on paperwork and setup Friday morning in the store.

Even though he’s outside the city limits, it’s been a challenge to work through the regulations and requirements to open the store, he said.

He almost gave up a few times, but the new sign is on the building and orders start coming in next week and he’s determined to open the store very soon.

The store will be a small grocery versus a deli, like the previous owners were operating.

“This is localized,” he said and is taking it back to the building’s roots when DJ’s Outback operated there for about 14 years. “So people out here can have reasonably priced groceries without having to drive all the way into town.”

That’s especially useful during the winter when Lower River Road can be treacherous, Goulet said.

Last year, the road was so bad, he said, he wished the store could have been open then.

“I’m excited to get this rolling,” he said.

Eden Market closed in late 2017 after operating for about a year. Before that the building was closed for about four years.

The name reflects what most area residents already call the small building at 5435 Lower River Road.

“There is not a person out here that doesn’t call this the little store,” Goulet said.

For now, he has plans to get the grocery going again and not try to draw people off 10th Avenue South.

But, over the next two years, his goal is to add things like soft serve ice cream and single slice pizza to make The Little Store part of a nice Sunday drive along the river.

There’s also several bus routes with stops right in his parking lot so Goulet said he expects to be busy in the mornings, plus he’s got good coffee.

He’s leasing the building from Trailer Terrance Community Inc. and in July, the county’s Zoning Board of Adjustment approved their special use permit so that the store could continue to operate in a residential area.

“The Little Store will not only be a convenient and affordable shopping solution but also should be of great value to adjoining property and their values. The Little Store would provide a place for the community to gather for coffee and say ‘hi’ to neighbors building a strong sense of community,” the owners wrote in their application.

The store could also “foster a positive thought on people looking to develop residential, agriculture and industrial area. We as a business look forward to growing with the community and work with business roundtable organizations in future growth in our business and community,” the wrote in their application.

The ZBOA also approved a second dwelling for a property in Simms for an effort to provide affordable housing for teachers and school staff there.

The second dwelling is allowed under a recent amendment to the county’s subdivision regulations.

The change was requested by the Sun River Valley Public Schools, to allow a second dwelling or multifamily dwelling unit including a duplex within a mixed use district with a special use permit.
County approves intent to change allowable uses with special use permit in mixed use areas, considering changes to subdivision regulations

The change was requested by the school district to provide affordable in-district housing in the hopes of attracting and retaining educators in Simms, according to the county planning staff.

During the Aug. 16 ZBOA meeting, the board approved a SUP for a second dwelling for a woman wanting to move her mother closer to her while also giving her space of her own. They also approved a setback variance for the construction of a garage addition on Irish Lane.