Local grocery store closing after 144 years
Apr 6, 201By Jeff Small
Washignton, MO (KSDK) - The year was 1867 and President Andrew Johnson was in office, carpet baggers were descending on the South and a family run grocery store held its grand opening.
After 144 years, Droege's grocery store in Washington, Missouri will close its doors Thursday evening.
Despite what signs say, there isn't much left inside Droege's supermarket. It's part of the tough and emotional decision to close Washington's last family owned grocery store.
Droege's has been a place where customers were known by name and known to travel for miles to get the stores famous fried chicken. Droege's also featured great service by several longtime employees.
Butch Droege says his family's small store has employed 2,000 to 3,000 people over the years. Droege said it was simply too difficult and costly to compete against the chain stores in town.
"You know a lot of the customers and that I will miss and you seem them during the week and you wind up being a part of their family and they become part of our family," said owner Butch Droege.
"It's just so upsetting and we don't know what's gonna go in here but it will never be the Droeges that we know," said customer Cindy Parker.
The owners haven't made a decision yet on what to do with the property. Droege's opens Thursday afternoon and will be closing its doors at 5 p.m.
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Droege's Supermarket Announces Closingby dfox
Droege's Supermarket, located at 109 W. Main Street in Washington, will close in April after 144 years in business. The store's owners, John "Butch" and Judy Droege announced the closure Friday, Mar. 11, but did not give an exact date.
"Making the decision to close was a very difficult one for Judy and me," Butch Droege said in a statement to the press. "Like many small businesses, we found it increasingly difficult to compete with larger grocery chains and other retailers that stock food items. We believe we have competed admirably, but with continuing changes in the marketplace and consumer buying habits, closing the store now is a prudent decision for our family."
The store first opened in 1867 under the name Droege's Mercantile at the corner of Main and Oak Streets. It moved to its current location in 1896.
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