It’s not often customers make an emotional connection to their grocery store, but that is the case for some people in Newington.
Local Market, a popular Newington grocery store, will be closing at the end of the month and for regular shoppers the reaction is a combination of sadness and shock.
“Are you serious?” asked shopper Gwenath Douglas with an expression of disbelief when informed of the news. “Why?”
The “why” is not clear, but a post on social media let shoppers know the store would be closing its doors. An estimated 70 employees learned the news yesterday.
Local Market was previously a Best Market location before that grocery chain was sold to a discount grocer. The Newington store, however, was not part of that deal.
The news has Local Market’s loyal customers disappointed.
“All of us are like family,” added Douglas, “We’re local people.”
Some shoppers though travel some distance to shop there.
“It’s very sad. I’m devastated,” said Debra Oakes, who says she travels from East Hartford once a week to shop.
While it’s not a long drive from East Hartford, it’s not the most convenient either. Oakes though is seeking specific items she could only find in specialized markets before.
“Being Italian and being used to another market from the south end of Hartford, this is the closest I get,” said Oakes.
Shopper are passionate, explaining this market had more meaning to the community than an ordinary grocery store.
“I think just because it is truly a local market. It is that,” said Debbie Lee of Newington. “It’s not the big box stores. I think that’s what makes a difference.”
Finding an alternative option is the next step and is a decision these shoppers won’t make easily.
“It’s gonna mean looking around and shopping around at prices and things like that,” added Lee. “We’ll look at what is the best bet for the family.”