Workers prepare for grocery store to close and the end of an era - KOAM TV 7

Workers prepare for grocery store to close and the end of an era

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A business in Arma, Kansas that's been around for many generations is set to close.  Some would say this place to buy the essentials is itself a staple in the community.

Mike Crocker has owned the "Arma Supermarket" for the past 30 years, and has been in the grocery store business for 20 years.  So it's no surprise when he says what's about to happen in his life is sweet and sour.

"It's a small town grocery store and that's what you do," says Crocker.

But this is really more than just a grocery store.  During our visit, business was slow, though workers say things pick up in the evening.  There's a different pace in this city of about 15 hundred.  There are different values, too.

Crocker explains, "This community, there's a lot of Polish and Italian people.  They have certain things they enjoy.  And they want those things!"

"We have them come, lawn mowers, push a wheel barrel, take their groceries home in that.  We deliver still," says Linda Crocker, Mike's wife.

"Probably the best thing is learning the customer.  I see the same customers every week, if not every other day," says Mike.

Mike suffered a stroke four years ago.

"Life is short," says Mike.

And with that realization, Mike and Linda have decided to sell their store and retire.  "Arma Supermarket" is the only supermarket in town.

"It's nice to be able to just jump in the car and be there and be back home in give minutes," says Don Gardner, a shopper.

That convenience, of course, will soon end.

Mike and Linda are looking forward to traveling and spending more time with their grandchildren.  They've had seven vacations in the past 30 years.

But before one chapter in their lives comes to an end, they have a message that's often said at checkout but has extra meaning now...

"Oh, I thank them all for all their patronage," says Linda.

The store will close on Saturday.  There has been once recent offer to buy the grocery store building, but no sale has been made.

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