Walking into Hickman IGA grocery store in Perry, Mo., it is guaranteed you will be greeted by name, and a “how are you?” This has been a signature of Hickman IGA since its opening day over 60 years ago by the three Hickman brothers and has been one of the many aspects Jordan Branstetter kept when he took over ownership of the store in July 2021. Hickman IGA has stood the test of time, especially in the world of rural grocery stores, where stores often get pushed out of business by supercenters and declining customer bases. But Hickman IGA has watched children, who play in its aisles, turn into adults who come to the store to feed their own families. With the next nearest grocery store over 30 minutes away, Hickman IGA is vital to the community, especially the more vulnerable populations. It’s not only a place where people can access fresh produce, but it is a lifeline for the large elderly population that resides in Perry. The relationship between the town of Perry and the store is mutual. Hickman IGA gives to the community, whether it’s supporting the 4-H kids or halving the price of turkeys for low-income families around the holidays. And when a tornado took out the store’s power, the residents of Perry came with brooms to help clean up, and a local ice company stored food in its truck. Both the store and the residents of Perry know they wouldn’t survive without each other.