The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Martin's Grocery Celebrates 20 Years of Serving the Community


April 28, 2021

Martin's Grocery in Hays, Montana has played a huge roll in providing goods and services to the local communities of Hays and Lodge Pole, but its impact has been felt for miles away as well.

Martin's Grocery first opened back in 1989 when Margaret and Harold Martin welcomed their first customers into the store.

Harold was looking to retire from the construction business and could always be found lending a hand all around the region. Helping at the church, repairing roads anywhere help was needed and always behind the scenes.

In 1980 the Martin's started the 'Independence Day Challenge' which continues to this day. Harold wanted everyone to be able to enjoy in the days celebration and capped it off with a fireworks display after the sun went down.

That spirit of doing for others is still a huge part of what Martin's Grocery is all about. 20 years ago Gerald and Sheila Martin took over the family business and look forward to celebrating that milestone this Saturday, May 1.

Like Margaret and Harold, Gerald and Sheila are very humble and as a result Martin's Grocery has taken on a persona of its own.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration is meant as way to give back to the community for the tremendous support the store has been shown through the years and show their appreciation to their customers.

In the past 20 years, the Martin's have experienced it all, "Our expectations of the business were surpassed in so many ways. We learned more as time went by. Through discipline and hard work, the business is thriving."

Martin's Grocery has been heavily involved with community activities and showing their support has always been important to them.

One big event they wanted to continue was the Fourth of July Celebration. "We have a community BBQ and a fitness race that draws competitors from all over. The race has been dubbed 'The Independence Challenge'. The day is filled with activities, and the finale is a huge fireworks display. This was established by Gerald's parents in 1980."

Martin's Grocery holds an Easter Egg Hunt every year with hundreds of eggs, including 'Money' eggs, some of which contain a nice cash prize. They give away bikes and have prizes for every age group, including adults.

Another annual event that Martin's Grocery conducts is their customer appreciation during the Christmas Holiday season with a plethora of Door prizes. "We work with our vendors to provide prizes in all the events we hold throughout the year. Our vendors are a big part of our success as well."

Martin's Grocery has provided a reliable service to not only the local communities but the Hi-line in general, "Our goal was to help our community and extend our business who would have it both near and far, especially with the Pandemic. This was unprecedented times, and we wanted to provide our services to anyone that needed it."

Martin's Grocery was hugely successful in doing just that. They submitted a plan to the Tribal Government and Incident Command that would allow them to follow protocol and serve the community in any way possible. Curbside pickup, home delivery, whatever was necessary. "Working with Sysco and their representative, Lisa Robertson, we put together bulk orders so that folks who the Pandemic isolated could get the products they desired. This required a massive amount of effort both physically and logistically."

The community is lucky to have an established business that provides huge need to its residents and those are certainly big shoes to fill, creating both a stressful and grateful situation, "We always strive to give our customers the best product. This causes enormous amounts of stress, wanting to make sure everyone gets what they need. The gratitude comes from knowing we did our part to provide what we could to everyone."

Building 1989

Gerald has continued to work multiple jobs to provide not only for his family but also for others. Even putting on training in hopes of reaching someone that could benefit from it. He and his family are deeply involved in the business efforts, and they all contribute to their success," said family friend and spokesman James Flansburg.

So stop by this Saturday and join in the celebration. There will be a drawing at Noon for all sorts of Prizes. Beginning Thursday they will have a box located in the store where customers can sign their name and number to be entered in the drawings.

Some great prizes are available, including: BBQ Grill, Lawn Chairs, Tent, Coolers, Fishing Poles, Basketballs, Bikes, Water Guns, Horse Shoes, Corn Hole Game, Garden Hose, Sleeping Bag, Kiddie Pool and more.

Refreshments will be on hand as well for everyone to enjoy at Noon. The menu includes Hot Dogs, Chips, Watermelon and Cake. It's sure to be a good time for everyone, so bring your family and stop by for a day of fun.


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