Warsaw's only grocery store to close after 21 years

A small-town grocery store plans to close its doors for good, and the owners say big-box stores are to blame.

Warsaw's only grocery store will close in the coming months. The mom and pop shop called, Pa's Market, at 317 Main St., has been a staple in the community for 21 years.

Owner Perry Cameron says it was a decision he should have made some time ago.

"A town without a grocery store has a huge loss, a disadvantage. Why would you want to move to the community?" Cameron said.

It's the reason Cameron held on to Pa's Market for so long. But he and his wife can no longer afford the responsibilities.

"The last three or four years, we began borrowing money thinking the economy would pick up, and it hasn't. We just came to the realization that it may never pick up, so we made the decision to just close the door," Cameron said.

Cameron says he'd hoped area residents would revive business when the word got out about the shop needing help. But that didn't happen. He says the number of other retailers in the Keokuk and Quincy areas have drawn away his customers. Multiple floods dating back to the flood of 93 have continued to wipe out the number of fresh goods that come in.

"We had a fresh meat market, not packaged meat like everywhere else you go to buy," Cameron said.

It was one of the biggest incentives to shop here, but now, you'll find the butcher shelves empty.

There's no set end to Pa's Market.

"Don't know for sure. It's when we reduce the inventory to practically nothing," Cameron said.

Right now, you'll find the price of almost everything in the store reduced by 30 percent. Even if he sells everything in the store, Cameron says there's more debt to be paid....and no source of income to pay it.

"It is scary not knowing where your next dollar is going to come from," Cameron said.

It's a harsh reality, but Cameron continues to stay optimistic about his future.

He's had a few people express interest in the building but nothing has come of it.

He and his wife are now looking for other jobs to pay off its mortgage. Cameron plans to run for mayor of Warsaw in the spring.