It's been a great family business for nearly 100 years. And it's coming to an end for Watseka's locally-owned grocery store November 27th.
The VanNatta family will close the door at Quality Grocery Store, ending a family tradition that dates back to 1917. Jim and Cathi VanNatta realize it's difficult for the community, employees, and family. But Jim says "it's time."
The store at 210 E. Oak Street will close at 5 pm November 27th.
The last few weeks has found many employees and customers sharing stories and memories of the business started by Jim's grandparents Harold and Mabel. Jim's mom and dad, Bob and Marie, took over the business in 1944. Jim took over in 2000 when his dad died. And Jim's mom, Marie, has remained the business and family matriarch, even at 94.
The business was sold to Berkots Super Foods. Berkots makes a return to the Watseka community in December, but at their former location at 1152 E. Walnut Street – on the city's east side, where much of the community has been expanding.
Jim says he still believes in the downtown presence and hopes city leaders will focus on downtown development. Many of the Quality employees are expected to transfer to the Berkots store.
Jim VanNatta shares memories and thoughts on the business venture on 94.1 FM, WGFA. www.wgfaradio.com
94.1 FM, WGFA