MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. – Richards Brothers Supermarket on the square closed its doors for good Wednesday. The grocery store opened back in 1937.
“My father started this business the year I was born,” Barbara White said. “It’s been in the family ever since.”
In its opening, the store was only 20 feet wide.
“The customers would line up even before it was time to open in the morning,” White said. “They could hardly wait and we’d have prizes for them and bake sales all day.”
Over time, the store expanded into a deli and bakery.
“It has gotten harder and harder since Wal-Mart Supercenter came to town, which has been some time ago,” Bob Skyles said. He and his brothers Steve and David eventually took charge of the store. “It became very difficult to make very much money or any money. We just kept trying our best and doing the best we can.”
Country Mart, a grocery store chain in Mountain Grove, purchased the Richards Brothers building.
“After I announced, there’s a lot of upset people that said, you know, they shopped here their whole life,” Skyles said. “They don’t want to do self-checkout, you know, things like that.”
Bob Skyles said ultimately he wanted to retire and felt this was the year to do it.
“It’s been really it really hit me hard this last week, how tough this is going to be,” Skyles said.
Neighbors have also shared they are sad to hear the staple close its doors.
“Richard Brothers was our only downtown grocery store, that does leave a void for a lot of people that live on the south side of town and in the downtown area,” Broker at 37 North Realty Group Liz Citron said.
The Skyles brothers said they will still run the Richards Brothers Farm and Feed Store.