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Neighborhood supermarket abruptly closes

Ray's Supermarket in Old Forge shuts its doors

OLD FORGE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - A Lackawanna County community that's had a supermarket in town for decades now faces uncertainty. Its grocery store abruptly closed, Wednesday, without any official notice beforehand. As Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains, shoppers say there were indications the store was in trouble.

Shopper after shopper after shopper showed up at Ray's Supermarket in Old Forge expecting to fill their grocery lists but they all left empty handed. "I was kind of shocked," said Cecilia Pruitt of Old Forge while George Barker of Old Forge added, "I was shocked. I was completely shocked."

Instead of them grabbing a shopping cart, a letter on locked doors grabbed their attention. It indicates the store is temporarily closed but shoppers believe there's nothing temporary about it. "There was nothing on the shelves," said Ms. Pruitt who weeks earlier noticed many items weren't being restocked and made her fear the worst. "And I kept asking questions are they closing and nobody would say anything," she said. Mr. Barker added, "Even toothpaste, you know, the simplest things were like gone."

A look through the store windows revealed there was still contents inside but no workers at a store that employed dozens. Donna Resio of Old Forge drove up to the store and discovered it was closed. She said, "I'm sad to see it, you know, leaving and I feel sorry for the people who won't have their jobs now."

Before this was a Ray's Supermarket it was known as Rossi's and decades earlier an Insalaco's. The question now: what does the future hold in store for this space? Borough officials caught by surprise didn't have an on-camera comment. But those who shop at Ray's either out of convenience or necessity are clearly disappointed. Jenny Kreseskie of Old Forge said, "It will certainly be missed by me because the next store would be out of Old Forge." Ms. Resio added, "Hopefully, some other grocery store or some other business will be able to come here. People need jobs."

Eyewitness News left messages for Ray's Supermarket owner Ray Petty but have not yet heard back. Mr. Petty operates two other Ray's Supermarkets in Waymart and Montrose. He closed his Factoryville store last year.
 


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