Mid-Michigan family-owned supermarket to close - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan family-owned supermarket to close

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NEW LOTHROP (WJRT) -

(07/19/12) - Since the late 1800s, the Confer family has been selling meat and groceries to families all over Mid-Michigan. But hard economic times are forcing the store to close.

A picture hangs in Confer's Family Food Market that shows the store's founder with his son and grandson.

"Mr. Russ Confer, the old guy who started this, I was a little kid and he would fill his pockets full of gum and walk up and down the streets and give kids gum. I can still picture him. I'm 86 years old, so think how long that was," remembered one shopper.

The Confer family has been selling groceries in the New Lothrop area for more than 100 years. Sadly, that tradition is coming to an end. By the end of the month, Confer's will be closed and about a dozen people will be left jobless.

"It's sad. It really is. It's a loss for the community and they're very kind, very giving people," said Shelly Fiedler of Corunna.

Fourth-generation owner Russ Confer declined to appear on camera and would only say the store is going through tough economic times. Customers say the closing will leave a large void in New Lothrop.

"I used to patronize this place when his dad had it and grandpa and all of them years back. It's been a long time here and the town is really, really going to miss them," said customer Joe Zvonek of New Lothrop.

One woman makes a special trip to Confer's just for the poppy seeds.

"They always have such good poppy seeds that you can't find any others that are just as good as that is. So we always come up here. We hate to see it close," said Maxine Kuchar of Corunna.

Confer's was also known for its butcher shop.

"One of the best meat lines around. That particularly is going to be well missed," Zvonek said.

"You could always call up here and have them hold something for you; just the special service and extra care you received. That means a lot," Fiedler said.

Customers say they'll now have to travel to Montrose, Flushing or Chesaning for their groceries, forcing them to spend more money on gas and less on food.  

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