Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Martin’s closes its doors, employees clock final shift

“It’s like a ghost town in there- or maybe a zombie apocalypse,” said Martin’s customer Laura Pettengilo as she left the store for the final time Monday afternoon. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

The Martin’s Food Market in Monticello Marketplace shut its sliding doors for the final time Monday evening at 6 p.m.

As they closed, a stream of former employees walked to their cars for their final commute home from the supermarket.

“I really enjoyed working here,” employee Sarah Graber, who has worked at Martin’s for three years, told WYDaily in advance of her last day. She added she works 20 hours a week at Martin’s and also has a job in retail to support her five children and three dogs.

“It means I’m going to work at my second job more or find another job to supplement it,” Graber said. “I think it’ll be okay. It’s like they say, when one door closes another one opens.”

In May Martin’s announced it would be closing for good. The Virginia Board of Workplace Development released figures indicating that 183 employees would be laid off when the store closed.

“We thank our associates for their hard work and dedication over the years, and we are grateful for the loyalty of our many customers,” Samantha Krepps, Manager of Public and Community Relations for Martin’s Food Markets, said in an email to WYDaily.

Nearly-empty shelves line aisles during Martin’s final afternoon of operation. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

“It’s just kind of sad,” said customer Laura Pettengill as she left the store. “You feel bad because when they go home, you know don’t have a job anymore.”

Pettengill added she shops at Martin’s “every few weeks,” and the Martin’s bakery was where she bought birthday cakes.

In addition to the Williamsburg store, four locations in Richmond, and stores in Chesterfield, Ashland, Midlothian and Chester will also close this summer.

Customers continued to shop until close Monday, taking advantage of going-out-of-business sales on many products.

“I’m so sad that this store is closing because I’ve been coming here as long as it’s been open,” said Cheryl Johnson, who splits her time between homes in the Historic Triangle and Canada.

“I love this store.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article listed Laura Pettengill’s name as Pettengilo. The article has been updated to reflect the correct name. 

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