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History of Loutre Market


Original location - 1963

Bob and Carol Johnson left Kansas City in 1962 to help Bob's brother-in-law, Junior Collins, with a service station that Junior built on the west side of Highway 19 at the intersection of Highway 94.  Bob had been working for a food broker and supermarket in Kansas City and was looking for the opportunity to start a business when Collins requested his help.  Bob ran the service station while Collins put up a building next to the station to house the original Loutre Food Market.

The first day of business for Loutre Food Market was on June 10, 1963.  The store was an instant success as Bob and Carol didn't even get the doors open before they sold their first item.  The night before the store opened, someone stopped by and bought a block of salt.  They always kept blocks of salt in the store from that day forward.


Second building - 1965

When the doors opened on June 10th, Laura Allemann was the first customer.  After a month in business, Bob and Carol decided they needed some help.  Their first employee was Knally Boehm.  Loutre Market quickly outgrew their first building and in July of 1965 they moved into a larger building next door.  Five years later, they moved to the east side of Highway 19 where the building remained for 32 years.




The third location of Loutre Market opened in 1970.

Loutre Market continued to grow as the building was enlarged several times.  Loutre Market was always known as the "Land of high water and low prices".  Although low prices were an everyday occurrence, high water threatened the store four times.


The flood of 1986

The first major flood was in 1973.  In 1986, water crept to the front door step, but never reached the floor of the store.  The basement was full of water, but the store survived with limited damage.  In 1993, a major flood knocked out a large section of Highway 19 just south of the intersection with Highway 94.  Access to the store from the south was cut off for several months as Highway 19 was rebuilt.  In 1995, high waters threatened the store again, but no damage was done.  

On September 15, 2002, the building which housed Loutre Market since 1970, caught fire and was completely destroyed.  Bob and Carol were living upstairs in an apartment they had built in 1977 when the fire broke out.  They both escaped unharmed, but lost not only their business, but the vast majority of their personal belongings.


A very sad scene - September 15, 2002

Although Bob and Carol decided not to rebuild the store they owned for almost 40 years, the history of Loutre Market is not yet complete.  Bob and Carol have been instrumental in helping Erik and Melody Palladino with the re-opening of the store.  


The New Loutre Market - 2004

The current Loutre Market opened on December 5, 2003.  On June 10, 2004, Loutre Market celebrated 40 years of operation between the two store ownerships.  Each year, on the 2nd Friday and Saturday of June, Loutre Market celebrates with a Customer Appreciation Sale.   

With the continued support of the community, Loutre Market's future will be as "special" as it's past.



Employee of the Month


March 2022

Shorty Kiel
Carry-Out/Stocker, Cashier





February 2022


Richard JacquinRichard Jacquin

Richard Jacquin




December 2021

Zabrina EllisZabrina Ellis

Zabrina Ellis




November 2021

Tanya RhodesTanya Rhodes

Tanya Rhodes



October 2021

Danielle HeadDanielle Head

Danielle Head

Cashier and Deli



September 2021

Austin RomakerAustin Romaker

Austin Romaker
Carry Out/Stocker



August 2021

Kris PotteabaumKris Potteabaum

Kris Pottebaum
Head Cashier



July 2021

Richard Jacquin
Carry Out/Stocker



June 2021

Brandy RueggeBrandy Ruegge

Brandy Ruegge
Deli Manager




May 2021

Angie LewisAngie Lewis

Angie Lewis
Meat Department Manager




April 2021

Justus WallerJustus Waller

Justus Waller
Carry-Out, Cashier, Deli