Bedford Co., VA - A major loss for the Boonsboro community, Mitchell's Grocery, open for 65 years, has closed for good.
The owner spoke out Wednesday saying what was behind her decision to close up shop. Kay Mitchell grew up in that store. She worked there for 40 years. To her, she said it was a second home, and the decision to lock up for one final time was far from easy.
"It was a hard decision to make" she said.
"It was rough. It was a rough day; did a lot of crying that day" said Mitchell.
Mitchell is the second of three generations of her family to run the store. Its doors opened in 1949 as an old country shop, supplying feed, seed, and farm equipment.
"And it gradually evolved over the years to a convenience store" said Mitchell.
She began working at the store 40 years ago, with her then fiancé, Pat. But after her husband passed away four years ago, much of the management of the store fell on her.
"It's just gotten to be more than I can take. Sometimes you just have to make a decision and do something" she said.
Mitchell said she'll miss the customers; many, daily patrons that would stop in for one thing.
"Probably the chicken" said Mitchell.
Now, the fryer is off and the kitchen is closed. But, Mitchell's fried chicken has made a name for itself in Boonsboro.
"Some people would get real angry if you didn't have any" she said.
Mitchell said she's filled orders and shipped her crispy creations to every corner of the country, even overseas, "Our most long distance order came from a girl in Iraq; a soldier over there on duty" she said.
Just ask Kim Downey about Mitchell's chicken, he used to sell it.
"One customer came in and told us that he'd been all over the eastern seaboard to the Mississippi and there were three places in that area that had good chicken, Mitchell's was one of them" said Downey.
So for Kay, a final goodbye to her second home, and the patrons, the folks she now calls family.
"We appreciated every day they were with us and we're sorry things had to come to this for us and for them too" she said.
Mitchell said she has some potential buyers of the store. She hopes they'll keep the same character, but no promises, after all the owner won't be a Mitchell.