America's Youngest Grocer Met His Calling


Nick Graham puts in hours at a small-town market like he owns the place, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports in this week's Assignment America. It's mostly because he does own the place.

"He's always here. I don't know when he goes to school," says one customer. "He sacks everything up and he takes it to my car," adds another.

"People really appreciate that and that'll keep my customers coming back," says the 17-year old Graham.

Graham just bought the Main Street Market in Truman, Minn., which makes him likely the youngest grocer in America.

When he first bought the place, he didn't know how to run a grocery store. "No, to tell you the truth, I've never been grocery shopping before," Graham says.

He saved the money, mostly from working around his uncle's turkey farm. The downpayment on the store was more than $10,000. It was money that could have gone toward a college tuition, or could have gotten him out of his small town.

"This community has been struggling for the past few years. It's kind of been in a downward spiral," Graham says. "And I didn't want to see that continue."

So when the town's only grocery store closed earlier this year, Graham felt his calling.

"I'm here hopefully to make a profit, but I'm not here for that in and of it self. I'm here because this community needs me to be here," Graham says.

And maybe he needs them right back. Nick's dad died when he was four and his mom has since moved out of state. He now lives with his grandma, Dorothy.

"I was not for it right away. I was worried for him. But it turned out fine. And the town was so behind him once he got going," Dorothy says.

Just about everyone in town is now a regular. Shopping out of town would be heresy. Some people even volunteer stocking the shelves.

"It gives the whole community a sense of confidence," a customer says.

Hope — it's what's on special this week at the Main Street Market in Truman, Minnesota.