The Closing of a Grocery Store



Okay, so a grocery store is closing March 26th.  So What!?  Well, the store I’m talking about is my local Joe O’Malia’s .  This is the store of my choosing where I do my weekly grocery ritual.  The thing you need to know about me is that I really HATE grocery shopping, but I do it because, well, we need to eat to live.

Well, I walked into my local Joe O’Malia’s today to do my weekly ritual and guess what?!  I saw a sign on the door informing me that my store will be closing forever and that the last day would be March 26th!  The store located at 126th Street and Gray Road would be more than happy to help me after March 26th. What?  I wasn’t quite sure I understood.  What is that sign trying to tell me?

Thus, began my whirlwind flight through the 5 Stages of Grief

Denial:  I was in total denial.  I stopped, stared and re-read the sign.  Surely, they were announcing that they were just going to be closed on that ONE day, March 26th.  Of course, Whew! And, then they would be available to me again on the 27th.  Right?  So, thinking that all was right with the world, I continued on my way.

Anger:  Well, the state of denial lasted about 30 seconds and quickly turned to disbelief and anger as I walked the familiar walk toward the produce section.  Where had all the produce gone?  Where were the potatoes? avocados? asparagus?  I started hyper-ventilating.  Okay, calm down.  They were re-vamping the place and it was in a state of remodel.  Yep, that had to be it.  Well, it became increasingly clear as I walked toward the meat counter that the sign might be true (there were about 3 pork chops left).  The store was closing.  This stage of grief lasted the entire shopping trip (which was very short, BTW).  As I was headed toward the next phase of the grieving process, I started to get really angry again when I realized that I was going to have to go to another grocery store today to finish my shopping!

Bargaining:  Well, who could I bargain with?  The devil?  That was unlikely.  I really didn’t hang out in this phase of the grieving process.

Depression:  I am languishing in this phase.  I am depressed.  I had finally found a store that wasn’t HUGE , that special ordered items for me, where I knew the meat guys, the deli guys, etc.  I had the store layout memorized and that was how my shopping list was organized (I know, crazy, right? See first post).  It made the shopping trip go faster (remember, I HATE to go grocery shopping!).  The store was within walking and biking distance from my house.  If we forgot something, no problem!  Just run over to O’Malia’s!  Well, now where am I going to grocery shop?  All of the other stores near my house are the HUGE stores that are not personal and don’t take your groceries out to your car.  I’m going to have to memorize another layout!  I’m almost 45 for goodness sake – how can I be expected to do that!?  I’m too old and too busy!

Acceptance:  I’m not quite at this stage yet.  My husband is trying to fix it for me (as husbands usually do) and suggested that I go to the only remaining O’Malia’s left in Carmel.  I honestly try to go to the store only once a week and thus, my weekly shopping trips are meticulously planned and take awhile.  I do this to try to save money.  I used to go the to store almost every day due to lack of planning and would end up spending way too much on food that would ultimately spoil and go bad.  Since I now do one big weekly trip, my husband is encouraging me to travel across town to go to last remaining neighborhood grocery store.  I may just do that starting next week, but I have to mull it over.  I haven’t completely graduated to the acceptance phase.  Maybe “they” will realize that I would really like this store to stay open. . . . .

11 thoughts on “The Closing of a Grocery Store

  1. loved the O’Malia’s blog. I completely would be there with you in the stages of grief. I loved O’Malia’s and the world is losing a great little store that has personality and customer service. Great blog!


  2. We drove by that O’Malia’s last weekend and was shocked to see the sign had been taken down. I had no idea they had closed. Very sad indeed…


  3. It was more than just the closing of a grocery store. It just chronicles coming closer to the end of an era … a time of quality and service, and friendly people helping you through a chore you had to do: Grocery shopping

    I worked at the store in Noblesville while in High school. I also worked at the store on 56Th & Fall Creek Parkway for a number of years.
    I’m pretty sure there was not a single job I didn’t do in those stores. The most important of those jobs was to take care of the customer. Period.
    If someone asked where the creamed corn was, I was DUTY BOUND to actually walk with them to the product they wanted, and once they were satisfied that they had what they wanted, I was DUTY BOUND to ask them if there was anything else I could help them with. Oh, I was also taught to give them a smile with this (at no additional charge).
    I met Joe O’Malia. I met a lot of his family. It was a family business. It was owned by a family that took great pride in what it did. Everyone involved with the place knew that it was more than just a business. It was an institution. It wasn’t just a business. It was a WAY of doing business. It was the right way to do business.

    When I heard that the O’malia’s businesses has been sold to Marsh supermarkets, I knew it was just a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. They could buy the buildings with the signs & name on them, but they could never keep them as they were. (Interestingly, Marsh’s used to have the same business model, but one must go back almost 50 years to remember that.)

    I deal with my grief with hope. I go on, looking for a place that still gives good products, served up with great service at a fair price. It gives me hope. It gives me something to live for.
    I did, in fact, go to Florida last summer … they had grocery stores without self-checkout lines, and they bagged my groceries for me! There is hope for the future.
    Joe, I miss you.


  4. I used to shop at the O’Malia’s downtown when I was a resident of Indianapolis. Until I had an unfortunate experience with a security officer patrolling the store. I was accused of shoplifting, presumably because I took a few items out of my shopping cart back on the shelf. There seemed to be alot of closet racism in your city. I was raised in the south so I know a bigot when I encounter one. I promptly moved back to Atlanta after graduating college.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s