Longtime family grocery store to close

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 10:37 PM EDT
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IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- After serving the Ironton community for more than 70 years, one family grocery store will soon be closing its doors.

Employees at the Bartram & Son Grocery Store confirmed the news to WSAZ Tuesday afternoon.

The news comes as a shock to shoppers, including Mary Williams, who have depended on the Bartram’s grocery store for decades.

“The first thing I thought of is, ‘Oh my gosh, people are going to lose their jobs,’” Williams said. “We’ve all just come to depend on it. It’s very convenient, I’m within walking distance, and sometimes I’m at Bartram’s a couple times a day.”

But as the store prepares to close its doors sometime in late May or early June, employees won’t be finding themselves looking for work.

“It is our intention to hire every one of the Bartram employees, it’s our intention to place every one of the Pick-N-Save employees,” said Tim Forth, president of Forth Foods and of Food Fair. “We met with the Bartram employees this morning. It eased their minds very much.”

“That’s, that is truly a relief to me,” added Williams when she found out no one would be losing their job. After all, Williams says she’s known the employees at Bartram’s for decades. “I am really happy that the employees get to keep their jobs,” she said.

Employees will keep their jobs, but where they’ll work will be a different building.

Forth says the target date to begin full operation from a larger building, that is, the old Pick-N-Save building, is in late May. The building will run as a Food Fair grocery store.

“When this opportunity came up, it just made sense to move from their older facility, to a much larger facility that allows us to do many, many, many new things that can’t happen in an older, smaller facility [like Bartram’s].”

Forth says Food Fair is very much a family-owned store. He says serving communities like Ironton is where the company’s heart lies.

“It’s really going to change things for this neighborhood and our surrounding community here as to where we go shop,” Williams said.

WSAZ reached out to Bartram’s on several occasions, but our requests for interviews were denied.

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