GRETNA, La. -- It's a milestone and the end of an era. The landmark Gretna grocery store Casey Jones is celebrating 50 years in business on the very day it's closing its doors for good.
Loyal customers in Jefferson Parish say it will be missed.
“Everybody comes, everybody knows this place,” said store owner Kirk Jones. “They've been coming here for years and years.”
Customers came in to Casey Jones one last time Wednesday to take a look around and say goodbye.
Besides some bread and a few odds and ends, the Gretna store's shelves are empty. After decades in the community, the family-owned store is shutting its doors.
“This of course is mixed emotions with that. But things happen, things change. One door closes, another opens.
Jones's dad, Casey, opened the store 50 years ago. Jones said it's closing now because the shopping center's owners decided not to renew his lease.
“So we have a great business and no building.”
Instead, a brand new Rouses will open up next door. But faithful customers like Carolyn Hornyak, who's shopped here for 48 years, will miss Casey Jones.
“Everyone’s been pouring in, giving, I guess, their condolences for losing this family store,” she said.
They signed the guest book and shared stories.
Jones is treating this closing as a celebration of 50 years in business rather than a goodbye.
“So we feel good about celebrating, even though we are closing,” he said.
Jones isn't ruling out re-opening if he finds an appropriate location for the store.
He also said most of his 63 employees have been able to find new jobs.