MOULTRIE, Ga. – Joe Kem’s Market officially opened on March 16, 2020, right at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. 

They’ve been faring very well, all things considered – perhaps even better, according to Bethany Lacey.

“The store just opened on March 16, 2020. My husband – Joe Kem Lacey Jr., or just J – his father owns a well-known local catering business that has been in the family for 20 years: Joe Kem’s Barbecue Sauce and Catering,” Bethany Lacey said. “My husband wanted a retail location and a meat market to sell the family products and other goods and went out and purchased a local store. … The family has been making their own barbecue sauce and rub since the early 1990s which is about how long they’ve been catering. We sell them in the store.”

You might have known the original building as Alligood’s before the Lacey’s bought it and rebranded. 

“We rebranded from the ground up. The business was known as previously known as Alligoods, but we went with a new name and I actually created the new logo,” Bethany Lacey said. “There’s an old Coca- Cola sign on the edge of the road where we put our new name. We’ve also been cleaning and opened up fresh and new as Joe Kem’s Market.”

Having opened right as COVID-19 hit the county, Joe Kem’s Market has been servicing the community as best it can, no small feat considering its youth.

“We had a bit of an interesting start,” she said. “The first few weeks we were open, the virus really affected us. We were selling out of a lot of essential items like bread and meat. We would order a bunch of cases of meat – like we’d order 20 cases but only get six. We’ve been very busy, which is great, and we’ve been cleaning and sanitizing to keep the store clean and safe. Still, we haven’t had a slow day yet.”

“We are definitely so thankful for all the business,” she said. “It has been great, all things considered. We’ve had wonderful community support and a really great response all around. We didn’t know when we originally opened what would happen, but we’re thankful that we’ve able to stay open and be open for everyone.”

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