A Vermillion grocery store that has served its customers for 17 years is closing its doors.
On July 10, Jones Food Center will close and construction will begin for the new Ace Hardware. Ace will take over the food center and prepare its current space for renting.
Jones was opened by Tom Jones 17 years ago and was later bought by his daughter Nikki Peters and her husband Gregg. Plans for closing and reopening as a bigger hardware store have been in the works for almost a year but it wasn’t until a month ago that final plans were finalized.
“We had looked at moving the grocery store,” operations manager Bob Starr said. “In the end, it just made the most sense to get out of the grocery side of things right now.”
Starr has worked at Jones for nine years and said he will continue working with the Peters family during the company change. Owners are also working on finding new positions for most of the current employees.
While the store will be a loss to the Vermillion community, Starr is positive about the change.
“A town the size of Vermillion needs a real good hardware store that has what they are looking for and we intend to meet that need,” he said.
Ace currently lacks the space to hold all customer-requested inventory, but the move will make that possible and allow for expansion.
“I’m very sad. Jones will be a great loss to the community,” customer Terry Munter said. “But the hardware expansion is much needed and will be a positive.”
The plan is to gut the entire building and remodel so that it no longer looks like a grocery store.
During the remodel, Mr. Smiths, Godfathers and the Bakery will also receive a facelift but will stay open for business. The seating area to the restaurant will be expanded and will possibly receive its own entrance. Counters will be replaced and changes will be made to make service faster.
Wells Fargo will also stay open and in the building but major changes will not be made.
“We will miss the health food and organic section- it is the best in town,” long-time customer Candice Spurlin said.
Spurlins friend, Stephannie Bonaivto agreed and said the two ear lunch at Mr. smiths often and then go shopping in the health food section after.
The natural food section as well as other parts of the store is expected to be a big loss to the community but the Elk Point location will continue to stay open for customers looking for Jones-exclusive items.
An inventory and reduction sale will start tomorrow to start getting rid of current supplies. The sale will last three weeks and then store will close for construction to begin.