BUCKLEY — Buckley finally has its own grocery store again.
Rajinder Ghotra opened Buckley Food & Liquor Inc. in the long-vacant building at 301 N. Railroad Ave. on Labor Day.
The resident of nearby Lake Iroquois, who also owns the Loda Big Mart in Loda, had been hearing requests for years to fill the void in Buckley.
“People kept bugging me, saying they needed to have something convenient (in Buckley),” Ghotra said.
Ghotra ultimately decided to appease Buckley residents by buying the building on the village’s north edge, completing extensive renovations to it, and opening the store there.
But for some reason, not many of the Iroquois County village’s 600 residents have been taking advantage of the convenience of shopping there so far.
Business has been extremely slow — so slow, in fact, that Ghotra has had to staff the store with his wife of 18 years, Nikki, and is unable to hire any employees due to the lack of revenue.
“It’s been dead,” Ghotra said. “I hope people start coming in, man.”
Buckley had been without its own grocery store for several years, after a number of grocery stores had operated out of the same building as Buckley Food & Liquor Inc.
The new store, open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., is “like a mini IGA,” Ghotra said.
“We have everything,” Ghotra said, including a wide selection of groceries, frozen foods, beer, wine and liquor.
The store also has a video-gambling machine.
A deli could be added if business picks up, Ghotra added.
Accepted as payment are credit cards, local checks and cash.