Groceries now available at Lunchroom Cafe’ & Coffee in Iuka

Gale Rose
Luke and Caitlin Laha check through grocery items they now supply Iuka residents at their Lunchroom Cafe' & Coffee business. They offer a limited variety of groceries for those in the community who do not want to leave town to get basic groceries.

Luke and Caitlin Laha, owners of the Lunchroom Cafe and Coffee in Iuka have come up with a creative solution to a problem that did not exist before the year of the coronavirus.

Their business, a hometown restaurant and hunting hub, has evolved into a sanctuary for community members who are concerned about exposure to COVID-19.

To better help those who are not able to go to larger towns in the area to shop for necessities, or because of health compromises just don’t want to, the Lahas have expanded their services. As of April 2, a limited variety of groceries, including fresh produce, milk and toilet paper, can be purchased at their converted school by community members.

The service is pickup or delivery (delivery in the city limits of Iuka only) and features staples that some local citizens would rather get locally than go out of town to purchase.

"Our main key is to help out our community," said Luke Laha. "This is an older community. We have a lot of individuals who just don't want to get out of the house."

Already there has been a good response from their customers. A lot of the items they carry are sold out on a regular basis in the grocery stores. They have good quality items and many residents would rather buy it in Iuka than drive into town.

People can come in and shop for themselves or they can call in an order and they will run it over to the customers house very quickly. The delivery service is for in town residents only. To place an order, contact 620-546-2352.

"Delivery is just in Iuka but anybody can come in and buy items they need," Laha said.

The combination cafe, coffee shop and grocery store is located at 404 West Sumner in the old elementary school house in Iuka just east of North U.S. 281. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The cafe and coffee shop remain open and the Laha’s offer carry out for anyone and delivery, only in Iuka. The menu features daily lunch specials, hamburgers, wraps, salads and a full coffee shop. Besides offering a community service, adding grocery sales brings in additional income for the start-up business.

"We have a lot of support from the community. A lot of people don't want to drive to town and eat fast food," Laha said. "We're getting a lot of response. This is beneficial to the community and for us."

For their grocery items, tables have been set up to display available products with refrigerated items also available. Available are vegetables, fruit, dry goods, toilet paper, towels, chips, hamburger and hot dog buns, tortillas, chicken breasts, hamburger patties, hot dogs, pork chops, shredded cheese, milk, orange juice, yogurt, corn chips, apples, onions, baked potatoes, apples, lettuce, avocados, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, asparagus and kiwi.

The Lunchroom Cafe and Coffee was opened in November 2018.