By Marlee Ginter

EAST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Soroush Rahimian cleared out his basket and checked out one last time at the East Sac Hardware Store, which is closing up shop for good Sunday.

“It’s been nice to not have to go to the big box stores when you need something quick and convenient,” Rahimian said.

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Fast, easy, and one-stop shopping, Rahimian got everything from electrical supplies to replace switches to toys for his kids, but not anymore. Yet, another it’s the next in a long line of small businesses that didn’t survive the pandemic.

“The time has come, we don’t have family that wants to take it over,” said owner Sheree Johnston. “A lot of things, COVID has been a problem.”

Johnston has run the neighborhood store for decades, hanging on even when Home Depot moved in around the corner in 2000, when the recession hit in 2008, and they never missed a day of service when COVID-19 hit.

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“We’re a dying breed, but I think there’s still a call for it. But we need a younger generation to come in and do it,” Johnston said.

But East Sac Hardware didn’t say goodbye without a proper sendoff, raffling off their popular popcorn machine to benefit St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children already raising at least $500.

The store has been a neighborhood staple since 1951 and will clearly be missed.

“There’s a coffee store right across the street, and you can handle everything in one quick trip,” Rahimian said. “So it’s unfortunate that it won’t be here.”

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“I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in good times and bad times,” Johnston said. “All my employees have worked hard to serve our community and we’re grateful to have been able to do that.”