Nauvoo's only grocery store may close

Duck's Food Store has been in business in Nauvoo, Illinois since 1995.

Its owner, Kenneth "Duck" Whitaker, has been in the business for even longer.

"I've been in the grocery business since 1952," he said. "That's a long time."

There's a good chance that this family-owned store may be out of business soon.

"We don't do enough business in the winter time to really take care of the bills and then when summer gets here, we use all the extra funds from the summer business to pay the prior bills," Whitaker said.

Whitaker said itâ??s been like a merry-go-round these past five years.

He said the only way to get off the ride is by community support.

"We need more local support and with all the big chains pretty close, itâ??s hard to get, Whitaker said. "It seems like people drive 30 miles to save a dime."

If Duck's closes, the closet grocery store would be more than 10 miles away in Fort Madison, Iowa.

The next nearest grocery store is more than 15 miles in Keokuk.

Duck's closing also would put nine people out of a job.

Whitaker packages all of the beef in house.

Sherry McVeigh has been at Duckâ??s for 12 years and loves the people in the community.

She said she hopes she wins the lottery, because she would buy the store and make sure this staple stays put.

"I do know people in Nauvoo will regret it if the store does close," Whitaker said.

The Nauvoo Economic Development Committee is working to save Duckâ??s Food Store.

A committee is coming up with a plan to develop the Nauvoo Market, Inc. The committee needs at least $150,000 to make the plan work. This money would go toward leasing the store, purchasing the inventory and also make cosmetic changes like updating the interior and exterior and also fixing the roof.

To date, $59,000 of the goal has been raised.

Donations and investments in any amount are welcomed and should be made to Clive Moon at (217) 453-2089 or at

If the money is not raise, Duckâ??s Food Store is expected to close by the end of September 2014, according to the press release by the Nauvoo Tourism Office.

However, Whitaker said that closing could be much sooner.