St. Isidore's only grocery store closing this Saturday
ST. ISIDORE, ONT. -- An eastern Ontario grocery store will be closing its doors for good on Saturday.
The Valu-mart in St. Isidore, Ont. is the only grocery store in the small town of roughly 800 people.
Owners Jacques and Lynne Roy have owned and operated the store for more than three decades. They’ve made a decision to retire to enjoy a quieter life.
"It’s been three years that we’ve been trying to take our retirement and we always extend it a year, and then another year," says Jacques. "Of course, I’m going to miss it because I like to be with the people. My employees are like my children."
The doors will close for good at 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Shelves are becoming bare, and the stock is quickly running out.
"We’re with the company Loblaws. They’re taking everything back over. They’re going to distribute it to other stores," says Jacques.
Lynne Roy, who handles most of the paper work, says leaving is hard, but the time is right.
"We just decided it’s just time," says Lynne. "We’re going to miss the people, the community. They embraced us 30 years ago.”
The next closest grocery store is in Casselman, Ont., about a 20-minute drive from St. Isidore.
"I think that we will be living in a food desert, surrounded by farmland," says resident Karine Spuehler. "Travel 20 minutes to get what I need. Make a big plan, maybe for the big items go to Ottawa, hit many stores. But we’re going to miss this place."
"There's a lot of elderly people here who don’t have cars and stuff like that," says Kevin Slater, who delivers the bread to the Valu-mart. "So it’s going to be tough. But maybe somebody will come and open up something else."
The Roy's have been running this grocery store for almost half their lives. They say, although it will be sad to call it quits, they are looking forward to new days ahead.
"We have children and we have grandchildren and we’re ready to take another step," says Jacques.
Lynne adds, "Take some time to take care of our grandchildren. Snowmobile. Enjoy the cottage."
It’s still unknown if a new grocery store will replace the Valu-mart. The store employed 23 full-time staff.
"We’re definitely going to miss this place and hopefully something will come back," says Spuehler. "We never know."