Just across the highway from where we live, there was a grocery story, a MomAndPop Store. Mom and Pop started the first one over 50 years ago, several miles up the road from here. It went well, so they opened a second, also a good drive away.
Then, about 22 years ago, looking to expand to a third location, they came to this area. It was a great choice, except for one problem.
Mom and Pop owned the grounds and buildings and everything at the other two locations. Here, they would have to rent. It would only be about half the size of the other two stores, but that wasn't the main difficulty.
The main difficulty was that the Landlord was actually a Slum Lord.
The place didn't start out as a slum, of course. When Slum Lord bought it, it was still in great shape from the previous owner. Slum Lord, though, once he bought the place, didn't want to ever, under any circumstance, put another penny into it. After all, every penny of upkeep was a penny he didn't get in profit.
So the place went downhill. When i say downhill, i don't mean the area, which is working middle class. And i don't mean the stores located on the property, because they are really nice places. No, i mean things like the MomAndPop Store manager calling the Slum Lord to say the roof was leaking. Slum Lord would send his guys out, and then call back and tell the manager that there was no leak. The next morning, after the heavy rain continued all night, manager opened the doors of MomAndPop Store to find part of the roof had caved in and landed on the floor.
That kind of downhill and lack of maintenance. The place leaked, it looked as clean as they could get it but had a shabby appearance, the parking lot was nothing but potholes, and there was always something going wrong at either MomAndPop Store or one of the other stores on the property.
Slum Lord got tired of the complaints and wanted to cash out. He tried to sell a couple of times, but it always fell through. Something about a former dry cleaner located on the property and the soil needed to be decontaminated. Anyway, he kept trying.
A few months ago, he succeeded. A buyer was found. The buyer managed to renegotiate with every store on the property, except MomAndPop Store. The buyer is planning to fix what needs fixing, but if MomAndPop Store wanted to stay and expand this store to the size of the other two, the rent was going to be exorbitant.
The family had to say no, and MomAndPop Store is now closed, to be reopened in a new location a bit up the road. Closer than the other two, but not as convenient as this place.
It was a sad day when i bought my last few groceries there, and said good-bye temporarily to the people who work there. No, no one is losing his/her job. Mom and Pop taught their kids, who now run the outfit, how to treat people. Every employee will be working at one of the other two locations until the new place can open, then will move over there. All are guaranteed to continue to get the same number of hours and same benefits. They are a class act.
A few days later, i found myself in need of a few things that i always liked to get at MomAndPop Store. They had brands i liked and certain items i liked, and their produce is always fresh and high quality. They carry local items, and i like that a lot. So i decided, for the first time ever, to venture to one of the other stores.
The first thing i noted when i arrived was that there were no holes in the parking lot, so i didn't have to dodge to keep from jarring my teeth loose when hitting a crater the size of a kitchen sink anywhere.
The second thing i noted was the size of the place. It rivaled many of the smaller national chains in size!
Then i walked up to the front, and saw a sign that said, "Fresh sushi, made in house daily."
Walking through the door, i had to make sure i didn't let my jaw drop too far. Yes, they have sushi. And an area where you can sit and eat that, or the salads from the salad bar, or the hot plate breakfasts and lunches you can buy there. In the store that just closed, you could buy the salad or the hot plate of food, but you had to take it to go, there was no room to just enjoy it there.
The familiar coffee pots, with complimentary coffee, are there.
And so is a whole lot more. More organics. Lots of things that you would expect to see at a natural foods store. Things i never dreamed the MomAndPop Store would have. It reminded me more of shopping at one of the higher end national chains than in the dinky little store i was familiar with.
It turns out, this is how they wanted their third store to be, but they never had the room, and didn't dare put some of that stuff in, considering how Slum Lord let the place go.
The new place where they are going, they will have the room to make it just as nice as the first two stores, and i can hardly wait. Yes, i'll have to drive a bit further, but it's only just around the corner from the cat shelter, where i go regularly anyway.
And meanwhile, i'll be coming to this other location. It's worth it.
Back-to-Front Yad -- Fairy Calendar
Bannack Days-- Bannack, MT, US (through tomorrow; explore the territorial capital now turned ghost town and celebrate the pioneer spirit)
Bloomer Day -- anniversary of the opening day of the first US women's rights convention in 1848*
Canada's Parks Day -- Canada (showcasing Canada's beautiful parks and historic sites, it's worth traveling to a park near you!)
Celebration of the Horse -- Charlotte's Saddlery, Houston, TX, US (in honor of the human/equine bond; through tomorrow)
Festival of Honos -- Ancient Roman Calendar (personification of morality and honor)
Kokura Gion Taiko -- Yasaka Shrine, Fukuoka City, Japan (shrine festival that incorporates a taiko drumming competition with up to 100 teams; through the 21st)
La Festa del Redentore / Feast of the Redeemer -- Venice, Italy (procession of gondolas and other craft to commemorate the end of the epidemic of 1575; through tomorrow)
Liberation Day -- Nicaragua
Long Beach Island Festival of the Arts -- Loveladies, NJ, US (juried arts and crafts show, entertainment, food and more; through tomorrow)
Martyr's Day -- Myanmar
National Daiquiri Day
National Woodie Wagon Day -- pay homage today to this great American symbol of freedom and the casual lifestyle
Prince Lot Hula Festival -- Moanalua Gardens, Hawai'i
Route 66 Summerfest -- Albuquerque, NM, US (a free celebration)
Stick Out Your Tongue Day -- internet generated, do it just because it's fun
St. Justa's Day (Patron of potters; Seville, Spain)
Toss Away the "Could Haves" and "Should Haves" Day -- write down all the "could have" and "should have" things in your life, then toss them in the trash! Resolve from this day to live in the present, not the past.
Triple Play Day -- the first Major League unassisted triple play was made by Neal Ball on this day in 1909
Wrong Days in Wright, Minnesota -- in honor of "Wrong Way" Corrigan (through tomorrow)
*Amelia Bloomer's birth anniversary on May 27 is also called "Bloomer Day"
Frank Sinatra marries Mia Farrow, 1966
Isis marries Osiris (year unknown, ask the ancient Egyptians!)
Adonis marries Aphrodite (year unknown, ask the ancient Greeks!)
Stephen Anthony Lawrence, 1990
Jared Padalecki, 1982
Topher Grace, 1978
Angela Griffin, 1976
Clea Lewis, 1965
Anthony Edwards, 1962
Campbell Scott, 1962
Brian May, 1947
Ilie Nastase, 1946
Vikki Carr, 1941
Arthur Rankin, Jr., 1924
George McGovern, 1922
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, 1921
Eve Merriam, 1916
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, 1904 (last direct descendent of Abraham Lincoln)
Max Fleischer, 1883
Charles Horace Mayo, 1865
Lizzie Borden, 1860
Edgar Degas, 1834
Samuel Colt, 1814
"That's All Right"(Elvis' first single release), 1954
Today in History
A dragon more than 100 metres long was found dead on Yehwang Mountain in Henan province and was seen as a bad omen for Emperor Huan, who ignored it and died at age 35 (three years later); Xiang Kai, who had warned him of the omen, was released from the prison the emperor had placed him in, and lionised as a hero, BCE164
Moslem forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeated the Visigoths led by their king Roderic, 711
A hailstorm brings down the ceilings of the Papal Palace, Rome, 1500
Lady Jane Grey is replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England after having that title for just nine days, 1553
Five women are hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
Representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy sign the Nanfan Treaty, ceding a large territory north of the Ohio River to England, 1701
Australia's first recorded use of gaslight was commenced in a Sydney shop, 1826
The British Medical Association was founded as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association by Sir Charles Hastings at a meeting in the Board Room of the Worcester Infirmary, 1832
The two day Women's Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, New York; "bloomers," named after developer Amelia Bloomer, are worn at this very early feminist convention, 1848
A meteorite with an estimated mass of 190 kg explodes over the town of Holbrook in Navajo County, Arizona causing approximately 16,000 pieces of debris to rain down on the town, 1912
Joe Walker flies a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 metres (347,800 feet) on X-15 Flight 90. Exceeding an altitude of 100 km, this flight qualifies as a human spaceflight under international convention, 1963
The Sandinista rebels overthrow the government of the Somoza family in Nicaragua, 1979
The first three-dimensional reconstruction of a human head in a CT is published, 1983
President Clinton announces his idea for a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in regards to gays in the US military, 1993
A Tel Aviv judges orders safe deposit boxes that contain manuscripts of Franz Kafka to be opened, 2010
A Pontifical Commission is established by Pope Francise to investigate current accounting practices and implement new strategies for greater fiscal transparency and fiscal responsibility among all Vatican office, 2013