June 24, 2009 It is noteworthy that inside these pages this week are several examples of the caring spirit of the community of Almont. Three stories and a letter to the editor all about people who want to express gratitude to the community at large and let others know how much that means, how great that is.
What's not so great, however, is that for the first time in decades Almont is without a full service grocery store. Almont Food Pride—formerly the Almont IGA—closed its doors last week.
Along with being an independent grocer and all that goes with it—no big corporate written-in-stone rules, flexibility, individuality, truly personal customer service and more—Almont Food Pride was an employer and an avid supporter of the community. From car washes for the Scouts and cheerleaders to donations for ball teams and benefits, the grocery store was for years more than just a place to buy food. It was a supportive member of the community with a stake in the community as well.
A mix of circumstances may have contributed to the store's closing—economy in the tank, an April storm that wiped out electrical power for three days, a lack of business because of big box competition. Whatever the reasons, bottom line is booming businesses don't usually simply close their doors. This is sad and unfortunate for Almont. and residents who no longer have a choice but to drive to other communities to grocery shop—and perhaps illustrates how important community support really is.