Nine Months After Being Destroyed by Fire; Osmond Grocery Store Re-Opens

OSMOND – Last summer, an electrical fire gutted a town staple in Osmond, the Tiger Town Food Center and Floral…the only grocery store for the city of 783 people.

Now nine months later, Tiger Town is back. 

The completely rebuilt grocery store opened back up last Friday. The name and location are familiar, but owners say everything else has been completely redone, with help from AWG in Norfolk.

“They were very helpful,” said Tiger Town owner James Bessmer. “From the design team to the president of AWG, they bent over backwards to help us out.”

Bessmer says he and his wife Nancy are still getting used to running the new store, but says once the doors are open, it feels familiar again.

“This is the fun part,” Bessmer said. “Greeting the people, meeting with them, socializing with them – that’s the fun part.”

Bessmer says having shelves stocked with groceries again is a major boon for a town whose residents had to travel miles away, just for a gallon of milk.

“It was a zoo,” said Bessmer. “Nobody knew where to go. They went to Randolph or Plainview or Norfolk. It’s nice having it back.”

Last July no one knew what the future held for Tiger Town, but Bessmer says Osmond is the type of town that wouldn’t let one of its landmarks go down without a fight.

“I don’t know if this could happen in other towns or not,” Bessmer said. “You see small-town stores closing and struggling, but Osmond’s good to us. Very good.”

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