MODESTO (CBS13) – A trio of family-owned grocery stores is closing after nearly six decades in the Central Valley, the latest casualties of nearby big box stores.

For many shoppers, Sam’s Food City has been the place to go for groceries for decades. The last three locations in Modesto, Turlock and Livingston are shutting down.

“It’s my store for 25 years,” said Del Downing.

For Downing, Sam’s Food City is more than a grocery store.

“They are like family,” she said.

That’s why she’s wiping tears and holding employees tight.

“They are all really caring and they are helpful; and I love them and I’m going to miss them,” said Downing.

Owners of the store blame big box stores that are now selling all the essentials you need to fill up your cart.

“As a family-owned business, we do not have the resources like these chains and public companies have where they can put money into remodeling and buying things a lot less than we can buy them for,” Co-Owner Gary Lowe said.

Prices were never a concern for long-time customer Carol Gilbert.

“I’ve been coming here since I was 17 years old, with my mother. Everybody knows you by name,” she said.

Gilbert and other loyal customers are now forced to find a new place to check out.

“I don’t go out and visit because I see everyone I know in here; same old customers,” Gilbert said. “It breaks my heart that they are closing.”

The store will close in a few weeks and several employees will be without a job.


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