The familiar Andy's Market sign will only be hanging in Simsbury for another few weeks. The 28,000 sq. feet, local-style grocery store is closing it's doors after 33 years.
"We've been here 33 years and it's time to move on," owner Andy Andreo Jr. said.
Andreo cites grocery competitors as one reason for the decision. "You can buy groceries everywhere from CVS to Job Lot to the Christmas Tree Shop," said Andreo. "We're a conventional grocery store and we're feeling the pinch."
Andy's Market began as a family run business started by Andy Andreo Sr. in 1951 in East Hartford. The Hopmeadow Street store in Simsbury opened in 1979 at what was the site of the abandoned Old First National store. The store was expanded in 1991 and is now run by Andy Jr. and John Andreo.
Andreo, who owns the entire plaza property, feels that the large space "could be better utilized." Andreo has found that the grocery business is increasingly demanding, "alot of hours and a lot of time," he said. None of his four children are interested in a career in the business because of it.
It's been an emotional decision for the family and the customers too are feeling the pain of losing a familiar business in town. "Some of these people have been shopping with us for 30 years," Andreo said. "We have a lot of loyal customers."
One customer described the store's closing as similar to "somebody dying in the family," said Andreo."We're not happy about it either."
About 20 employees will be looking for work when the store closes. Andy's Market is trying to assist them in finding new employment. "We're trying to place as many as we can," said Andreo, but they are only able to take 3 of the long-time employees with them over to one of the two liquor stores the family owns in E. Hartford. "We're trying to place them in other organizations."
"Hey," Andreo said, "when you get everybody selling groceries, everybody takes a little bite out of you."
Andy's Supermarket was the only grocery store open during the power outage in 2010. "The townspeople seemed appreciative," said Andreo.
He has been talking with different regional and national tenants about renting the space but no final decision has been made. "Hopefully it will be done soon. It's just a matter of making a decision," said Andreo.
Simsbury residents can expect the store to be open until March 10.
How do you think the closing of Andy's will affect the business landscape in Simsbury?