As a kid I walked, or took the bike to our village grocer to pick up groceries for my parents or treats for myself. Those places don’t exist in the US at all and that experience kids in this country never have. Incredibly sad.

Neu estimates that towns need at least 1,000 residents to support a village store. To keep from losing money, such concepts also need people who are willing to participate, a concentration of homes within walking distance of a town center and residents with high enough incomes to shop at the store, she says.

It could be so easy.