Intuit Helps Renew Kitchen at Old-Fashioned Grocery

At first, Alexe van Beuren and Kagan Coughlin weren’t sure what to do with the derelict building — a historic home — that they’d rescued in their community of Water Valley, Miss.

“We had this building that my husband [Kagan] had been renovating on nights and weekends,” van Beuren recalls. “No one else seemed to want to do anything with it.”

So, the couple decided to open a business that would provide something Water Valley lacked — an old-school grocery store and eatery teeming with fresh-from-the-farm products.

“I really love the little town where we live, but it didn’t have [access to] good, quality food,” van Beuren says. “I was driving about 40 minutes just to get food that I wanted to eat.”

Alexe and her husband opened the B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery on Main Street. The store, which sells locally produced goods and serves freshly prepared foods, celebrated its third anniversary in April 2013.

“The response has been really great,” van Beuren says. “A lot of people around here grew up on subsistence farms, so the idea of eating fresh vegetables and glass-bottled milk is something they understand.”

“I think we’re doing way better than anybody thought we would,” she confides. “We’ve expanded. We’ve grown. We’re a much better store than we were when we opened, because we’ve listened to what people want.”

What locals want now is more of the delicious culinary delights produced daily by the B.T.C.’s baker, Cora Ray, and chef, Dixie Grimes. But that’s been a difficult challenge to address, van Beuren says. “They have been cooking on two very battered, cheap electric stoves — every burner cooks at a different consistency.”

In hopes of updating the kitchen, van Beuren recently entered Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign.

“Our wish? An eight-burner gas stove with a griddle,” her entry reads. “With folks waiting for grits and sausage gravy and homemade soups and from-scratch fried pies every day of the week, these ladies deserve a powerhouse in the kitchen.”

Well, it looks like Cora and Dixie can prepare to put that old stove out to pasture! Intuit is granting van Beuren’s wish for a state-of-the-art appliance.

“This is so fantastic,” van Beuren says. “Thank you so much! This is going to be a game-changer for us. … They are going to be able to make better foods faster, which is good because our demand is picking up.”

The new stove will help B.T.C. turn a new page, but the actual page-turning for van Beuren begins next year: Her cookbook-memoir, The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival, is due out next spring.

Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign is announcing one winner a day through May 24, 2013. Check out the list of current winners, and find out if yours is one of the wishes we’ve granted!

About Michael Essany

Michael Essany is a former E! Entertainment Television host and nationally published author who was recognized by A&E Biography in 2005 as "One of America's Most Remarkable People." Michael currently serves as Vice President of Indiana Grain Company, LLC.
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43 comments
Jacque Zirtzman
Jacque Zirtzman

Congratulations from L.O.V.E. Lifting Others Visions Effectively

Danielle Bourgeois
Danielle Bourgeois

That's great! Glad to hear it. Now how about my wish that Quickbooks 2013 will work with Outlook 2013?

Debbie Goodrich
Debbie Goodrich

Congratulations on a your wish being granted. It's great to see fresh foods sold locally to people to encourage them to make better dietary choices! Awesome!

Penny Velk
Penny Velk

That is great! I hope I get my wish at Henny Penny Cupcakes..come one friends vote for me!

Cheryl Holt
Cheryl Holt

You still need one from NY, please pick Vassar-Warner Home!!

Julie Murray Guice
Julie Murray Guice

congratulations from a grenada native. I think I was in your store a couple of years ago to buy a watermelon.

Mem's Pocket Palette
Mem's Pocket Palette

Congratulations. I'm thinking I'm going to be wish number 9 for a cash register/credit card machine and gifts bags! Yeah me! :)

Kathy Tumlinson
Kathy Tumlinson

Congratulations! I would love to see Beautiful You Hair Salon's WISH GRANTED seal on my Facebook page! I have a 85 year old sweet lady coming for a perm this afternoon and this self-operated, dated shampoo chair is a chore for her to push back in order to get her head in the shampoo bowl.

Pam Oxman
Pam Oxman

Congrats on your win. I see you didn't a mass of votes, so I am still hoping to be one of the winners. I can't even start my biz without this money.

Kevin Chestnut
Kevin Chestnut

Congratulations.. now please VOTE for Beckley Bypass Mini Storage LLC... in Beckley WV... we offer a nice clean and comfortable low rent office space for new and upcoming buisnesses... so please help me help others.. thanks...

Rick West
Rick West

Congrats to them..We are still hoping and prayering for our wish at The Oringinal King Richard's Pasties. KnowPeace BTW..We LOVE Intuit..they have been a staple in Our tax business for years..thank you