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Expansion, new retail spaces at Ken’s IGA should be ready by fall
Ken's IGA Expansion in progress
The steel frame for the expansion of the Ken’s IGA in Guyton is up. The new store should be ready to open by the fall, according to owner Ken Nesmith. (Photos by Barbara Augsdorfer/Effingham Herald.)

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald


Tucked just beyond the traffic circle of Hwy 17 and Central Boulevard in Guyton is Ken’s IGA. The grocery store has operated in Guyton since the 1980s and the Nesmith family has owned it since 2010.

So, pushing 45, the store was due for an extreme makeover.

“Everything’s going to be brand new,” said Ken Nesmith. “We're here for Guyton. We're here for the citizens of Guyton. They've been good to us and we're just trying to give back something better for them. That's the entire game plan.”

As of Feb. 22, the steel frame for the new section of the store is up. Nesmith added that the new store should be ready to open “by late August or September” 2024.

Kens's IGA rendering
Artist rendering of the new IGA once it’s completed. Nesmith said there will be 100 parking spaces in the parking lot.
The expanded store will also have retail space, “but that’s Plan B” Nesmith added. “Right now, we’re putting all our focus on the grocery store.”

Nesmith said some of the new things in the store would include a floral department, meat department and a “dark deli” – that is cooked and process meats that are grab-and-go – such as ribs, butts, and chickens. “It will be a smoked deli,” Nesmith said.

After the new store is complete, Nesmith said the newly freed-up space will be divided up and leased out to retailers, but he hasn’t decided on how much space, how it will be divided up, or any details on potential leases.

“We drew in a little restaurant,” Nesmith said of the future retail space. “if somebody wants to open a restaurant. My wife wants a Mexican restaurant, so our architect drew in a Mexican restaurant there.”

The existing store is fully stocked and open for business during construction.