Nashua's only grocery store expected to close in June - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nashua's only grocery store expected to close in June

by Danielle Wagner

NASHUA (KWWL) Iowans are changing how they put food on the table and many small town grocery stores are struggling to keep their doors open.

In a report by Iowa State University Extension, grocery stores with employees in Iowa are dropping.

In 1995, Iowa had 1400 grocery stores, but in 2005 that dropped by half to 700 grocery stores. During that same ten year period, the number of supercenters increased by 175 percent.

Shelves aren't getting stocked and the meat cooler is no longer running at B & D Foods in Nashua.

Owner Bob Philips said after more than 30 years, he can't afford to stay open.

"The small town grocery store is getting harder and harder to maintain. The business runs on the narrowest margin of any retail business in the world. The light bill's the same whether I have two customers or 200," said Bob Philips.

Philips said many people work in larger towns with supercenters, and it's getting harder for him to compete.

"You can go into a large store and get everything. Pick up your prescriptions, flowers and bakery goods and that's just some things we were never able to fulfill under one roof," he said.

One of the hardest parts about closing is losing the employees.

"I cried. I still could cry. It's sad," said Rhonda Rosol.

After 12 years at B & D Foods, Rosol doesn't want to leave.

"Hopefully somebody will come in and buy us," she said.

If that doesn't happen, she's worried for some of the customers.

"And I worry about the older people who can't drive out of town," said Rosol.

Bob Philips said he's not ready to call it quits, but financially, he doesn't have a choice. Attempts to sell the store haven't been successful as of yet.

Nashua's "Main Street Matters" is having a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at Ruthie's Main Street Cafe. One of the topics for discussion will be coming up with possible options to keep the grocery store open.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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