Downtown Grocery gives back to community through art - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Grocery gives back to community through art

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

As Downtown Grocery in Wausau gets back on its feet after a fire, store owners are finding ways to give back.

As they get ready to set up shop they've got some construction to do.

Instead of an orange fence, they're opting for works of art to help the community that supported them during a difficult time.

“Number one is just to give back for the really supportive words and thoughts and efforts that the community has shown us for our particular situation,” said Kevin Korpela, the store's owner.

He bought 18 doors from Habitat for Humanity.

“We like to look at the construction fence as an opportunity for art and in particular community engagement with that art,” Korpela said.

Wausau East High School students are transforming the doors into works of art.

“Enlisting students to assist us for some fun time after school to paint which is something that they love to do anyway,” Korpela said.

When the paint dries, the doors will be donated to The Neighbors' Place. Then, they'll be auctioned off. The profits will stay with the food pantry.

“I think it's a wonderful example of what they're all about as a business,” said Tom Rau, the pantry's executive director. “They have gone through this tragedy of having a fire in their store and they're picking up the pieces.”

The temporary location will open in January.

“Downtown Grocery is a very strong and resilient organization so obviously we're through a very tough situation at the moment and as a resilient organization always looking towards the future,” Korpela said.

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