OTTAWA -- The owner of Ross’ Independent Grocer in Barrhaven is retiring.

The store is a staple in the community, having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and contributed to countless charities.

Kelly Ross has been with the store since it opened 18 years ago.

"Oh my goodness - in 2002, there were cows across the street, now there’s big box stores," Ross told CTV News Ottawa.

Right from the beginning, and along with her late husband Ken Ross, they have been involved in the community and local charities.

"I think it was just in our blood; both Ken and I have volunteered since we were children," says Ross.

Kelly Ross will retire on Jan. 2, 2021, and now the community wants to say thank you.

Ross’ Your Independent Grocer is more than just a grocery store; it’s like the centre of the Barrhaven Community.

"They’re just well known; people come into that store, because it is a home in Barrhaven. She’ll be missed for sure in the community," said Megan Ladelpha, a former employee

The store and Kelly Ross are known for their involvement and contributions.

"When you think of pillars in the community, you always think of the Ross’ for sure," says Andrea Steenbakkers of the Barrhaven BIA. "They’ve been big participants in all of the major community events that have gone on for many, many years."

If anyone in the community needed help, the Ross’ Independent Grocer answered the call,

"A lot of parents, whether they wanted to be or not the team leader for the fundraising and didn’t know where to start, so they said 'Hey, you know what? Ross’ does a lot of community events, so why not give them a call,'" says Ross.

Fundraising, community work or sponsoring large events; the store has raised substantial money.

"I think we last did a count five years ago, and it was $750-thousand into the community; so, it’s been quite a bit," said Ross.

Kelly had help throughout the years. A park in Barrhaven is named after her late husband Ken, who passed away six years ago. She says now is the right time to retire.

"Time for my family now; this is a tough business, it’s seven-days a week, 24/7."

While she is retiring, Ross will continue to live in the community she’s helped to build.

"Oh, absolutely - I’ve been in Barrhaven for 30 years, and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon."

If you would like to say goodbye, the store will be recording video messages this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the store, outside.