We’d like you to meet Sean. He’s the son of Center Stage Market owner, Kat Mournighan. He is sensitive, observant, and a very sweet boy. Sean was diagnosed with autism when he was 22 months old. Since that time, food sensitivities and allergies have been a constant challenge for him. Kat began working diligently to keep trigger foods and ingredients out of his diet, but since they change continually, it’s an uphill battle – one that’s totally worth fighting.
Kat began purchasing food once a month through a very small food co-op to be able to offer her family better food choices and to keep allergens at bay. Eventually, in 2008, Kat took over the food co-op, renamed it “Picky Eaters,” and with concern for those who face issues similar to Sean’s, she began attracting more and more participants to the co-op who were simply unable to find the food they needed in the small, rural community of Americus, Georgia. The co-op grew to over 40 families and had to be housed once a month in the warehouse of Cafe Campesino, a local fair-trade coffee importer, roaster, and coffee shop. For years, Kat and a loyal team of volunteers met the delivery truck at the crack of dawn, priced the items, parceled out all the orders, and displayed surplus for visitors to browse. It began to be too big for the warehouse and Kat started thinking about making good food a full-time job.
In late summer of 2015, Kat opened Center Stage Market on West Forsyth Street in Downtown Americus. Her staff is now comprised of many of the same volunteers who helped grow the food co-op. Several staff have food allergies and sensitivities they’ve worked with for years, so they’re very competent listeners and guides. An herbalist is on staff and has over 15 years of experience working with herbs and supplements and only purchases items for our shelves that she knows to be of the highest quality. A registered nurse with a diabetic son is also on staff and a great resource for the many in our community with blood sugar concerns.
Navigating a grocery store for healthful choices can be incredibly difficult, especially when time and cash are in short supply. Let us help you discover ways to eat good food, feel better, and save your grocery budget. You’ll find the only thing that beats our products is our customer care. If we don’t have what you need, we’ll do our best to special order it for you. Everyone deserves real, good food. Our mission is to make sure you get it.