After 20 Years in Business, Owners Must Part With Virgilina Grocery

Virgilina, VA - Big changes are coming to a little store in Virgilina.

The town's only grocery store has been run by Tony Tuck and his wife Linda every day, including Christmas, for the past 20 years.

In October, however, Tony and Linda will be saying goodbye.

The store closing comes as a shock to their customers. The Tucks say it came as a shock to them, too.

The owner of the building wants the space back after all this time, and folks in the community will definitely be sad to see them go.

Longtime customers can't say enough good things about Virgilina Grocery.

"This is like a community hub, and they make everybody feel good. Everybody is family here," Customer Jeff Puryear said.

"They've become kind of the backbone of the community with what services they provide," Fellow customer Ralph Tuck said.

The services are especially important for Carl Elliott. He needs help with shopping after losing his right leg.

"I just make a list and pull up, and James will come out to my car. Everything has been real great. I hate to see Tony and Linda go," Elliott said.

Last month, the Tucks were told by their landlord they had 90 days to clear out. Property owner Jack Slagle wants to pass the store on to his son.

That leaves the Tucks with a lot of merchandise to get rid of very soon.

"We're trying to stay in business and go out of business at the same time. In the end, we'll probably have to have an auction," Tuck said.

Tony says he is not bitter about leaving, but he wants to make sure his loyal customers and employees will be okay.

"It's been a two-way street you know. You've been good to the customers, I'd like to think, and the customers have certainly been good to us," Tuck said.

Tuck says he's turned down the idea of opening up shop in a new building. He says all good things must eventually come to an end.

Now Tuck and his wife plan to hang up their 365 day a year schedule and take some time to smell the roses, so to speak.

"I'm going to just take this time to let go and enjoy life for a while. I'm looking forward to the future," Tuck said.

The grocery store will be run by the property owner's son starting November 1.

A Family Dollar coming to Virgilina is expected to create some competition there when it opens this Fall, however.