The heartwarming story behind Franklin Food Market opening on Christmas Day

The heartwarming story behind Franklin Food Market opening on Christmas Day
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 11:24 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Christmas can be one of the happiest times of the year for some but a struggle for others.

“For other people, it’s the loneliest time of year because they have no one,” said Franklin Food Market Manager Laurie Van Noort.

About 15 years ago, Van Noort knew that some of her staff did not want to be alone on Christmas and offered an option to come to work.

“And if we have enough people that sign up to help, then we open the doors on Christmas Day for a few hours,” said Van Noort.

Owner Ted Haggar was surprised at just how busy they were.

“Laurie brought down food, and we thought we were going to have a little dinner here and there. Nobody even got time to even look at that,” said Haggar.

Franklin Food Market is open from 8 to 2 on Christmas day. Shoppers love the idea too. Van Noort remembers a Brookings man who forgot he was hosting a holiday meal.

“He came in in a panic, and we helped him out; made sure he had everything he needed because he wasn’t quite sure what he needed,” said Van Noort.

Some look for exquisite items.

“We have alligator, we have rabbit, just a lot of different things that we bring in,” said Haggar.

Around 20 couples have met and married while working or shopping at the store, including owner Haggar and his wife Glenda, who he credits for a great family.

“We are in our fifth generation of Haggars that are working here,” said Haggar.

Some shoppers have another reason to stop by on Christmas Day.

“They aren’t going to see anybody else that day. So they come in here to get a smile, to get a hug, to get a friendly face recognizing them and saying ‘Have a good day,” said Van Noort.