GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Thanks to Valerie Lane, toiletries, household essentials, and snacks are now a little closer for Magnolia Grove residents.
"One of my motivations was that we just didn't have anything," said Lane.
Lane recently opened The Grove Convenience Store on Hewes Avenue. She grew up in the Gulfport neighborhood known as Magnolia Grove, and remembers the community and neighborhood stores before it became blighted.
"[When] I grew up, we did have something you could walk to and most of the people....walked," said Lane.
Arnette Jones remembers that time, too.
"Back in the day we had a store on the corner down here on Railroad. We had a store right here and in due time, it just closed down," said Jones.
Lane was determined to bring a spot back to the community that's not just about grab-and-go items.
"Just me I guess being a little old fashioned, you always got a story when someone came in. You got closeness, easily things that I forgot at the other stores were there," said Lane.
The store is a breath of fresh air, and residents are already flocking to the Grove.
"It's easy. It's convenient, instead of people going to Pass Road they can come right here. I mean, it's a big help. Especially the people that don't have transportation, they come right here. They got everything: household, drinks," said Tiwana Ambrose .
Lane envisions her store being the first in a series of businesses to help revitalize Magnolia Grove.