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FireLake Discount Foods’ Healthy Initiatives

by TaRena Reece, Marketing & Facilities Manager, CPCDC

Across the United States, in every state and community, people are beginning to take a harder look at healthy initiatives. Communities are making healthy choices easier and options more accessible for their people. Grocery stores near and far are joining in the efforts and helping with those initiatives in a huge way. Earlier this year we caught up with Richard Driskell, Director of Operations at FireLake Discount Foods to hear how the tribe is helping Shawnee, Oklahoma become a healthier, happier community.

Driskell joined the team in 2000 just as the Citizen Potawatomi Nation was breaking ground to build their first grocery store. Since the beginning, FireLake Discount Foods has become engrained in the community offering a wide variety of fresh produce, staple goods, exceptional meats, and quality foods of all kinds. It is an exciting time to live in the community and watch how FireLake Discount Foods has expanded over the last few years. Telling us of his involvement with FireLake Discount Foods, Driskell says, “I was here from the very beginning. In 2003, I became the director over all of the retail operations. And since then, we’ve grown to three grocery stores, two convenience stores, and three smoke shops.”

To help create a healthier community, FireLake Discount Foods joined with community organizations and efforts like the Blue Zones coalition and began offering more options to its customers. “We were in the process of remodeling our store and we decided to pay more attention to the healthy products and produce is a big key” explains Driskell. “We brought in new cases, new decor and we merchandised produce more effectively than we have in the past.” Through those marketing efforts FireLake Discount Foods expanded its product lines to include a greater variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

As Driskell discusses FireLake Discount Foods, he explains some of the measures the store has taken to contribute towards those healthy initiatives. “We are very heavily involved with the community overall. The tribe is the largest donator of goods and services within the Pottawattomie County area, and that has us doing a lot of different things and offering more healthy choices has allowed us to be more proactive in trying to donate things that are healthier within the community.”

FireLake Discount Foods donates bananas and sack lunches containing healthy fruits at local sporting events and races as well as to the schools. In addition to this, FireLake Discount Foods puts tremendous effort into public awareness. “We’ve also just been out there helping the public learn nutritional facts. We will have monthly or semimonthly walks within the store where we teach people how to read labels and how they can be healthier with their lifestyle and environment,” said Driskell.

 As new products became available, clientele began to increase Driskell explains, “We’ve had people that come from the Shawnee area that told us that they would go to Whole Foods. They would end up going to sprouts in Oklahoma City. Expanding our variety has allowed them to really shop and keep that local because of the varieties that we’ve brought into the store.”

All these new options and varieties have been a huge hit with customers but that isn’t all that brings people into FireLake Discount Foods in droves. Inside the store, you will find a fresh Deli and Bakery offering an assortment of fresh deli meats, a variety of cheeses, sandwiches, cookies, delicious cakes, and baked goods galore. Hungry for delectable ribs or a hot spud loaded with your choice of pulled pork or brisket, topped with cheese, sour cream, onions, jalapenos, and mouthwatering barbeque sauce? Stop at FireLake Discount Foods’s Ribber before you leave and take home a hot meal. Shop FireLake Discount Foods online or locally by visiting one of their locations

FireLake Discount Foods 1570 Gordon Cooper Dr. Shawnee, OK 74801 

FireLake Express Grocery – Tecumseh 214 E. Walnut St. Tecumseh, OK 74873

FireLake Express Grocery – McLoud 3467 McLoud Rd. McLoud, OK 74851

FireLake Corner Store 41201 Hardesty Rd Shawnee, OK 74801

Before our crew packs up to leave, Driskell tells us of his experience with the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC). “I can tell you the experience overall has been probably the smoothest and easiest thing I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve gotten loans through the past, just personal loans and it requires a mountain of information and just a lot of effort. … Cindy Logsdon and Bob [Crothers] are great. They are always on task with whatever I need.” The best part Driskell says, “What I liked about it is it didn’t take a lot of time to get a reply back… From the time that I said, ‘Hey, I need some funds because we want to get things that are more healthy or involved with the store.’ From that point forward, they really did the legwork and I didn’t have to do much at all.”

In the future, Driskell says, “I can see that whenever we do grow or we remodel or we want new equipment that we will be getting CPCDC involved so they can help us through the overall process. … We probably wouldn’t be standing here with a remodeled store and new cases, if it wasn’t for the help of the CPCDC. They became involved and they had the funds available that helped us to get where we’re at today and make this a really beautiful store. And if you go look at all the rest of our stores, the decor and the cases and everything were all directly involved with CPCDC.”

Thank you FireLake Discount Foods for allowing CPCDC to be a part of your story. Seeing first-hand how your success contributes to our local community has been inspiring and makes our job at the CPCDC worthwhile.

The Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation finances tribal enterprises and Native American owned businesses like FireLake Discount Foods across Oklahoma and the U.S. To find out more about how we can help your Native-owned business call us today (405) 878-4697 or visit us at At Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, we are planting seeds for a brighter future.

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