ST. PARIS – The IGA grocery store in St. Paris will close its doors within the next two weeks.
Speaking with the Daily Citizen Friday, IGA District Manager Charlie Collins said the store is tentatively scheduled to close on March 30 due to an expiring lease. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
St. Paris Mayor Brenda Cook said she learned the store was closing when signs were posted earlier this week.
“I’m totally shocked,” Cook said. “But it is hard for small businesses in small communities to make a profit. It’s a low volume store, I’m disappointed the community didn’t support it more.”
Cook said the store’s closure will have a huge impact on the village as residents will have a harder time finding fresh produce outside of a farmer’s market or fresh meat. She added some alternative solutions are well outside of the village.
“Dollar General’s got a small inventory of grocery-type items and paper goods. There’s a local meat market down in Christiansburg which has got excellent meat. There’s a small little grocery store store still in Christiansburg,” Cook said. “Other than that, they have to go to Urbana or Piqua or Springfield, Sidney.”
St. Paris resident Adam Lannert said he goes to IGA around three times a week and the store’s closure will hurt residents who will have to drive further for groceries. Without the local IGA, Lannert said he would go to the Wal-Mart in Urbana or Piqua or go grocery shopping in New Carlisle.
“It’s sad to see the place go really but I hope somebody buys it soon because I don’t think they realize how much helps this town,” Lannert said.
Even with IGA’s departure, Cook said St. Paris has a number of buildings that could be rehabilitated to house a grocery store.
“The building will be empty when the IGA leaves so someone else could come in with another grocery store or something else,” Cook said. “There’s lots of potential here, I think the community will realize we need food.”
According to the Champaign County Auditor’s website, the property is owned by 3 County Properties LLC.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777.