Rock Cave IGA now attracts customers from several rural West Virginia counties, offers numerous regional and local brands of groceries, a full deli and meat department, and is most famous for its Ground Hog Sausage.

As longtime residents of southern Upshur County, the Hawkins helped to revitalize the local business community. The company currently has 26 employees, but its economic influence extends beyond job opportunities. Through the Southern Upshur Business Association, the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce and the Upshur County Development Authority, the Hawkins advocate on behalf of the region’s business and tourism communities. Building on the success of Rock Cave IGA, development has flourished in the surrounding area. By supporting the region’s economic, social and environmental health, Rock Cave IGA has rightly become known as the center of the community. 

Our Role

In 2009, the Natural Capital Investment Fund met with Glen and Jo Ann Hawkins to help them get an energy audit of their grocery store. The audit, conducted by the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, identified several opportunities to reduce energy expenses related to inefficient lighting, coolers, and freezers. NCIF was able to help the company apply for a USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant to cover 25 percent of the energy efficiency upfit-related expenses. The company also turned to NCIF to finance the rest of the project. 

Why This Project Matters

Using NCIF funding and the energy audit, the Hawkins retrofitted their store, decreased energy consumption by 25 percent and significantly lowered their operating costs. The energy efficiency renovations have not only improved Rock Cave IGA’s environmental impact, but have also contributed to the financial success of this community grocer.