CONNEAUTVILLE, Pa. — A once bustling borough is continuing to shrink. On Friday, Conneautville’s only grocery store, Samuel’s Market and an attached gas station were closed.
“The closing of this store is a devastation to our community,” said Conneautville Mayor Allen Clark.
Borough Council president Tim Prince said it happened without notice, but it did not come as a surprise.
“We no longer have a bank in town and they just kind of pulled out at a last minute’s notice. And now, we’ve lost our grocery store.”
Prince added, “It wasn’t really a big shock that they closed up. We’ve heard all kinds of rumors. And it’s just sad that it has.”
Clark believes the store had difficulty selling produce, but the location was convenient for the local population.
“We have a lot of elderly residents that walk here and rely on it for food,” he said.
Now, he said, residents may have to travel miles for some of their essentials.
“It’s very important that residents of all communities shop local. They need to keep the money here in their communities.”
As mom and pop stores face increased competition from big-box stores and supermarkets in larger communities, Conneautville hopes that the void is filled.
“We’re hoping that someone does step up and put another grocery and gasoline station here in Conneautville,” said Clark.
Shelves in the market were still stocked, but no employees were in sight.