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It’s official – Community Grocers, Inc. (CGI)in Mount Ayr will close its doors Sunday, January 19.
Store manager Darren Jones states liquidation of grocery items will begin Thursday, December 26 with all items marked down 25 percent.
Several other changes will take effect December 26.
The store will no longer accept charges or personal checks. All purchases must be made with credit or debit cards or with cash.
All sales are final.
The last day to drop off dry cleaning is also December 26.
Ad matching, deliveries and other discounts will cease December 26.
Rewards cards, however, will be honored through Sunday, January 12.
The closing marks the end of the community-owned grocery concept in Mount Ayr, at least for the time being.
A new group of investors is exploring ways to reinvent the community-owned store in some capacity, much like those community leaders did over 20 years ago.
According to a series of Record-News articles from 1996, the idea for a community-owned grocery had existed since the Place’s Store had relocated from the current CGI location to a larger building across the street in what would eventually become the Shopko store.
In mid-March 1996, a group of community members first offered stock in a proposed new store at $5 per share. The goal was to raise $750,000 in total stock offering, with $375,000 set as a minimum amount to open a store.
Joe Murphy, Randy McDonnell, and Kelly Main were listed as president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer, respectively.
By mid-May of that year, organizers reported they had hired a store manager but declined to name that individual.
Finally, in early August the group announced stock sales had reached $575,000 and set a tentative opening date of November 1.
Jeff Haugland was revealed as store manager with Don Solliday to serve as assistant manager.
The name of the business was yet to be determined.
In a full-page advertisement in the November 14 Record-News, organizers announced Community Grocers, Inc. or CGI would open for business Monday, November 18.
A total of 350 local investors had purchased 95 percent of the $640,000 in stock sold to that point.
A grand opening was planned for sometime after the holidays.
CGI remained a successful enterprise up until the recent past.
It was revealed at a stockholders meeting December 14 that the store had been losing approximately $10,000 per month over the past several months.
At that meeting, the CGI board of directors recommended the closing of the store and the eventual dissolution of the corporation.
Stockholders approved the recommendation by a vote of 47,600 shares to 31,407 shares to set the store closing in motion.