|Minatare grocery store closing|
|September 23, 2016 Jerry Purvis|
Prairie Sky Foods has been a longstanding presense in downtown Minatare. Jerry Purvis/ Gering Citizen
Prairie Sky Foods, Minatare’s long-time grocery store, announced it will be closing its doors as of October 31.
Jana Schwartz, whose family owns the store, told members of the Minatare City Council of their decision before it was made public.
“We wanted to let you know first,” she told the council. “We also want you to know how much we appreciate the support the council and the community have given us over the years.”
Schwartz said the decision was “just one of those things.” As their family has grown, it was time to move on from the day-to-day commitment of running a full-time business. She also asked to community to help them find a new operator to keep Minatare’s only grocery store open.
“We plan on staying here and being a part of the community,” Schwartz said. “Personal family is very important to us, but so is the community family.”
Mayor Jerry Harms said it was bad news, but he completely understood the decision. Harms has lived in the immediate area for past 46 years and has seen both good and not-so-good times in Minatare.
“There have been a lot of changes over the years and a lot of our businesses are no longer here,” he said. “We used to have a thriving community with the Legion Club, three taverns, and other retail businesses. Now we only have a grocery store, and that’s going away. That’s a big loss for the community, but hopefully someone will step up to operate it.”
Harms added the city will do what it can to assure the grocery store remains open with a new operator. However, the city budget doesn’t allow for any economic