FELICITY, Ohio — A village’s only market for fresh food is closing its doors after serving the community for more than 29 years.
The closure has many residents wondering how and where they will buy their groceries — others can’t help but worry about their neighbors.
“There’s a lot of people out here who don’t drive,” said John Schaefer, “don’t have a way to get around anywhere. There’s not really buses out here.”
The Felicity IGA on Light Street began its liquidation sale Wednesday. The store will stay open only until all products are sold — including fixtures and equipment.
Donald Larrison, 83, owns the IGA building.
“It’s going to be devastating to the community,” he said. “We have a lot of elderly people. Since the word is out, people have been coming in every direction — not wanting the store to close.”
Larrison said he’s hopeful someone will step up to become the market’s third owner in 60 years.
“It might not be the end. It depends on how bad the people of Felicity want a store,” Larrison said. “If I was 20 years younger, I’d buy it at the drop of a hat.”
For now, the roughly 1,000 residents of Felicity will have to find a new place to pick up fruits, veggies and meats. The nearest market is about ten miles away in Bethel.
News of the closure spread quickly through the village after Felicity IGA owners announced the closure online.
“I was coming up to grab bananas for my fiancée. And they’re out,” Schaefer said. “I guess they’re not bringing any more in.”
“It got out yesterday that IGA was closing. Everyone is freaking out,” said resident Christ McDonald. “The village is small. They don’t drive. So there will be a lot of hungry people.”
Still, Larrison calls the store closure an “opportunity” for someone else so the store can “go right back into business.”
“I’m hoping a local person, or a group of people could go together, and work with me. I’ll do what I can do. This is part of my retirement,” he said.
Felicity IGA will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until the merchandise is gone.