By Nha Nguyen
CRESWELL, Ore. — An Oregon company that owns several grocery stores in western Oregon has declared bankruptcy. Now several communities are wondering if they will have a grocery store anymore.
C&K Market, which includes Ray’s Food Place, is selling or closing 16 of its businesses. Four of those stores are in the local area–North Albany, Philomath, Pleasant Hill and Creswell.
Creswell residents say the Ray’s Food Place is the only grocery store in town. And because of that, they say the announcement that C & K Market is declaring bankruptcy won’t be easy to swallow.
“I heard the news from a past employee because I used to work here,” said Creswell resident Amanda Yarusch. “I think a lot of people in this town, in this community are going to be very upset.”
“It will force people to go to Springfield, Cottage Grove or Eugene to do their shopping. So people will not be happy about not having a choice in town,” said Dave Stram, City of Creswell Mayor.
Not far away, Pleasant Hill residents felt the same way.
“It’ll have a big impact. We’ve had trouble keeping businesses here just small ones as it is, let alone our biggest one,” said Pleasant Hill resident Evan Boucher.
And it’s not only the folks living nearby that will be impacted. Local businesses weren’t exactly excited about the news either.
“The people that come into the store next door will pop in here to grab some food real quick and things like that, so we’re going to have a huge decrease in customers from that department,” said Alina Vanmeer, Sunrise Café employee.
While many were bothered by the inconvenience and potential extra travel expenses, the loss means a lot more.
“It’s going to be pretty sad, really sad. Especially because I know a lot of the employees and how hard it will be on the employees,” Boucher said.
“Everyone in the store kind of knows each other. They know you by name. Like I go up to buy a movie, and they know exactly who I am. So it’s going to be sad to lose that bit of our community,” Vanmeer said.
C & K representatives say each of the 16 stores will be sold or closed by the end of the year.