Darren Doyle, story and photos:
While the Chalybeate Food Mart may not be new to joining the community, it is a new member of the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce, and they celebrated today with friends and family.
Owners Manish and Nisha Patel said even though they've been in business for 6 years, no one had ever asked them about joining the Chamber until recently.
"When (Chamber Director) Greg (Hudson) asked us to join, I didn't know what it was," said Manish. "So I told him if it means being another part of our community, then yes, we wanted to join."
The Patels' food mart is a popular stop for the Chalybeate area, carrying typical convenient store items, a hot deli, gas, tobacco products, and lotto tickets. They also carry highway and off-road diesel, along with kerosene.
"We believe in this community so we are always trying to find ways to give back," he said.
He also said that they are happy to allow vegetable stands and other similar booths to use their location at no cost, because he believes businesses should work together.
"We have a good spot here and anyone interested in a booth outside should come and talk to us. All our businesses would do better if we can find ways to help each other."
Chamber Director Greg Hudson said the Patels embody the spirit that the Chamber is working hard to promote.
"We're thrilled that Chalybeate Food Mart has been successful, and the Patels are a great representation of how to do business in our community," he said. "They are constantly looking for ways to give back to Edmonson County and we know they will be a great asset in our local Chamber."
The food mart is open 5am to 9pm 7 days a week. You can reach them by calling 270-597-8000. They are located at 1990 Chalybeate Road, Smiths Grove, KY 42171.