Reporter: Lauren Compton l Photojournalist: Daniel Heffner
Appomattox, VA - After 75 years of business the Wilbun's Supermarket in Appomattox has closed. The store has been in the Wilbun family for three generations. Owners say the decision to close the store was painful.
The Wilbun's say the hardest part isn't closing the doors to the store, but leaving behind the relationships with patrons they say were more than just customers.
The owners say it was the simple motto of Wilbun's Supermarket that brought so many to their store.
"We were 'Hometown folks serving hometown folks,'" said Sandy Wilbun, co-owner of Wilbun's Supermarket.
It's special customer service that Gerald Wilbun inherited from his father and instilled in whoever worked there.
"We tried to give them that personal touch all the time. And, I always emphasized to my cashiers, treat these people like your mother, your sister, your brother," said Gerald Wilbun, the owner of Wilbun's.
The store closed for good on Sunday after 75 years of serving the community.
"It was also a tearful day. I had to go through a couple boxes of Kleenex saying goodbye to everybody," said Sandy Wilbun.
It's the end of a chapter in Gerald Wilbun's life, one that is bittersweet.
"Well, it's a happy and sad time," said Gerald Wilbun.
For the past two years the Wilbun's say the store has been struggling to keep business up. And, it wasn't just the big retailer Walmart moving next door.
"Business was dropping. The community is losing so many jobs," said Sandy Wilbun.
And with the economy still lagging, the Wilbun's say the timing was right for their store and their family.
"My dad never said 'customer,' he said 'friend.' And, to all these wonderful friends out there - we love you. You've been good to us."