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Winnipeg grocer closing after nearly 20 years


An independent grocery in Winnipeg’s Southeast is closing its doors.

Dakota Family Foods announced on Wednesday they are closing, saying the decision was not made lightly.

“For close to 20 years, our store has been a staple in the community, and we have had the privilege of serving you and your families,” owner Scott Clement said in a post on the store’s Facebook page. “We have cherished every moment, from helping you find the perfect ingredients for a family meal to seeing familiar faces each week. Your loyalty and support have been the cornerstone of our family business, and for that, we are profoundly grateful.”

Long-time customers like Annette Giguere were upset to hear the store is shutting down.

“It’s very heart-wrenching actually that this store isn’t going to be here when I need, when I have last-minute company and I need somewhere to run, and do my regular groceries,” Giguere told CTV News.

While it’s been Dakota Family Foods for roughly 20 years, it was previously an IGA and a Safeway. Regardless of the name, the grocery store has been a hub for people living in St. Vital.

“I certainly appreciate all the work they’ve done and I’m pretty upset it’s closing,” Linda Durham, another long-time customer, said.

Clement has owned Dakota Family Foods for two decades, but his association with the store goes back even further – his father was a manager under a previous banner back in the 1970s.

However, Clement said he’s been wrestling with the decision to close for the past seven months. He said it came down to a combination of factors; a lease renewal, struggles with retail theft, and a challenging business environment.

“I really felt it yesterday when I had to tell the staff,” Clement said. “It was tough to see them go through that.”

Assistant store manager Spencer Harrison said he’s heartbroken. Harrison is one of 60 employees who will be out of a job when Dakota Family Foods closes.

“It was one of those things you never thought would actually happen and then it happens. You’re sitting there and you’re going, ‘holy moley, what now?’” Harrison said.

Clement couldn’t say when Dakota Family Foods will close but hopes it won’t be until November. He said it will depend on inventory levels, as well as staffing.

- With files from CTV's Jon Hendricks Top Stories

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