After nearly 90 years serving central Pennsylvania, Darrenkamp's is closing.
The family-owned grocer, which was established in 1932, announced Tuesday that it anticipates closing all of its four locations in early November.
Darrenkamp's has agreed to sell its store located at 106 Willow Valley Square to Giant Food Stores. The remaining three -- in Elizabethtown, Etters and Mount Joy -- will close in a "phased approach," according to a press release.
"This was a very difficult decision because we will miss serving our neighbors and because of our long history serving the Lancaster community for so many years," co-owner Dave Darrenkamp said in a statement. "Knowing how this affects our customers and employees made the decision even tougher.
Employees at all Darrenkamp's locations, the release stated, will have the opportunity to interview for comparable positions at the Willow Valley Square location as well as other nearby Giant stores.
"Our family has been in the grocery industry for 86 years and it's tough saying goodbye," Darrenkamp's President Joe Darrenkamp said. "We extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our customers, employees and supporters. It's been an honor for our family to serve Lancaster and the surrounding communities for so many decades."
'I'm just ... shocked'
The news came as a shock to longtime shopper Elaine Groff, a 72-year-old from Willow Street.
Groff said she has been shopping at Darrenkamp's for 20 years, including at Willow Street's previous Darrenkamp's location on Willow Street Pike, which closed in 1999, 14 years after it was purchased by the company.
"I'm just sort of shocked," Groff said. "I really liked coming here."
Perhaps most of all, Groff said, she'll miss the friendly, welcoming atmosphere, which isn't always found at other grocery stores, she said.
"This one felt a little bit more family-oriented," Groff said. "I'm disappointed. I really am."