Moneta, VA - A fixture in Moneta for more than two decades will close its doors for good next month. The owner of Shop Rite off Route 122 says he tried everything to keep it open, but the store just couldn't compete.
About 30 people will be out of work after the closing. Along with the steady income, employee says they will miss the bonds made at this hometown store.
"The people are very friendly especially the ladies in the deli," said Elise Ellis, a regular customer at Shop Rite.
Most faces that come through are familiar.
"Everybody that comes in we know them, and everything. We're just real nice to the customers," said Cierra Kasey, an employee at Shop Rite.
Finding your favorite foods is their specialty.
"You ask any of my customers, if you ask Lewis for it. He'll get it," said Lewis Creasey, owner of the store.
Shop Rite has served up this type of hometown hospitality since the 80's, but in a few weeks it will all be gone.
"I think the Food Lion across the street was big problem with it," said Mervin Delawder, a regular customer.
It moved in down the street from Shop Rite, but owner Lewis Creasey says that wasn't all.
"Until they closed the road I was competing fine with Food Lion. Once they closed the road I lost 200 customers a day," said Creasey.
About two years ago, VDOT moved a major intersection away from Creasey's storefront, funneling traffic to Food Lion. But Creasey did all he could to bring more customers in.
"We did double coupons, senior discount day, gas fuel reward program. I sent coupon mailers to people's houses," said Creasey.
But it wasn't enough. Now Creasey hopes to sell as much inventory as he can before he closes the store. At every corner you can see closing day is drawing near. Shelves are slowly going bare, and sale signs are abundant.
"It's scary. It's pretty scary to me that it's actually happening," said Kasey.
A new owner has purchased the Shop Rite. Creasey is hopeful another grocery store will take Shop Rite's place. Shop Rite will close September 8. Until then, most merchandise is marked down to 25 %.