The Washington Food Industry Association has selected Drew’sGrocery as the recipient of its 2021-22 Community Service Award.
After more than 84 years of service to the community, Drew’sGrocery in Toutle is now looking to the community for a little help of its own.
On March 9, the beloved community grocery store suffered a catastrophic loss due to a fire. The devastation has closed the store while the owners Greg and Carol Drew, along with their daughter, Julie Cox, work to rebuild.
“The temporary loss of this iconic small-town grocer is being felt by everyone in the community, but the outpouring of support shows how beloved they are by their customers and this community,” said Tammie Hetrick, WFIA president and CEO. “Drew’s Grocery is legendary in this community, helping out with everything from youth sports to holiday celebrations to food baskets for families in need. I cannot think of a grocer more deserving of this award this year.”
Drew’s is famous for a variety of community efforts. At Christmas, the store has sponsored a community tree lighting event and arranged for Santa to fly in and take photos with area children.
“This event has become a very special tradition to the Drew family,” said Lisa Brown, URM retail sales specialist, who nominated the store for the award. “For an owner to sacrifice his time and money for nothing more than to bring the community together is the definition of love for the community that supports them.”
Drew’s Grocery has also played a significant role in supporting the local school and youth athletics. Their “Fuel Up Our School” program donates 10 cents for every gallon sold the first week of school to the Toutle Lake elementary and secondary schools. Their Gatorade coupons also raise money for high school athletics.
At Thanksgiving, the store donates groceries to a local church for food baskets – enough to provide 22 families with full Thanksgiving meals last year.
The Drew family also provides support to various other local charitable and non-profit groups, including the Spencer Strong Foundation, theGirl Scouts of America and the local VFW.
In the wake of the fire, WFIA has been coordinating with members to provide the Drew family with crisis support during this challenging time.
“Our members – especially those who have experienced a similar loss — have been so supportive, reaching out to Greg, Carol and Julie with resources and contacts to help them get back on their feet again,” added Hetrick.
“For years, Drew’s Grocery has invested in their customers, their neighbors and their community. It is amazing to see how much goodwill they have accumulated, and how appreciative people are in light of this tragic event. They are true community legends, and we are so happy to honor them this year with this award.”