Country Market closing June 5th

Lisa Depies
Geneseo's Country Market store is located on Route 6.

The majority of the Geneseo Country Market grocery store will close June 5, however the store’s bakery and deli will remain open.

Store manager Terry Shouse called the decision to close “sad” but cited a “lack of participation” from area shoppers in the store’s demise

“Competition is good for everybody. Without competition, you don’t give the consumer a fair deal. We were competitive,” he said.

“It’s very disappointing?(to be closing). There were such high hopes for the store,” said Shouse. Country Market opened Aug. 27, 2010.

Geneseo mayor Linda Van Der Leest said, “Anytime you lose healthy competition is disappointing at best.”

Van Der Leest added, “It was a struggle to understand what were really the needs of the people who asked for a full-service grocery store but then didn’t make the attempt to either shop there or step in the door.”

Van Der Leest said she believes it would be difficult to try and convince any other full-service grocery store to come to the community.

“I don’t profess to be a business entrepreneur, but my guess is, having seen Jewel struggle and close and then Country Market struggle and close and not being able to identify what it is the community wants would preclude someone from coming here in the future,” she said.

Community assessments done before Country Market’s arrival indicated Geneseo was in need of a full-service grocery store, but what was shown on paper didn’t pan out in actuality, said Van Der Leest.

Still, the mayor said she’s happy Country Market owners will continue to operate their deli and bakery.

“When they called to let me know (the grocery store was ceasing), they said they were moving forward with new ideas. That posts a glimmer of hope,” said Van Der Leest. “They’re not going to shut it down completely.

“They’ve had success with their fish fry and with their bakery and deli, and they’re willing to revamp their business. I’m grateful they’re not just closing their doors,” said Van Der Leest.

Shouse said he anticipates the deli and bakery portion of the store being open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The deli and bakery will employ approximately four or five employees, he said.

“I would hope the community would show them a vote of confidence and support them as they move forward. I wish them the best of luck,” said Van Der Leest.

According to an agreement with the city, Country Market was eligible to receive tax rebates from the city for its first seven years in operation.

Van Der Leest said the status of that agreement will be discussed by city officials.