To some people, the Super-Fresh on Route 8 in Dover closing may be no big deal. For some people, Super-Fresh may be just another grocery store.


To some people, the Super-Fresh on Route 8 in Dover closing may be no big deal. For some people, Super-Fresh may be just another grocery store.

For the employers and dedicated customers of Super-Fresh, the upcoming closing of the store is heartbreaking.

The Super-Fresh in Dover opened 25 years ago and since then has become more of a community store than a grocery store where the employees and customers have formed a close bond.

It’s a bond front-end manager Debbie Devine, who’s been there since the beginning, compares to that of a family.

“It’s a shame to me because this is more like a community store. The people that come here are more like family,” Devine said, “We’ve seen them grow up and some of them now have families.”

To the employees at Super-Fresh, they know what their customers like and even know when to expect a customer at the store.

Lea Prandeski, who’s worked there for 19 years, said they have customers who come in at the same time each week to get certain products. There have been times she’s called customers when they haven’t been to the store for a while just to make sure they’re okay.

For the customers, they’re just as upset as the employees about the store closing.

Bruce Allen, a 17-year customer, is disappointed.

“They are good people here. I know everybody here — it’s sort of like home,” Allen said. “I like it because they are friendly. If you need something, they tell you where it’s at and then go get it for you.”

Having been a customer for at least 16 years, Sharon Bargo has almost teared up while shopping in the store knowing her days of shopping there were numbered.

“I was at the bakery the other day and I started to rub my eyes a little bit and the woman told me ‘Now don’t you start crying,’” Bargo said.

Customer Karen Hollinger expressed her sadness to the employees while shopping on June 8.

“I’m really upset. I do most of my shopping here and they are like family,” Hollinger said. “It won’t be the same shopping somewhere else. I know where everything is here and I’m friends with them here. Not only will I miss the store, but I’ll miss the employees.”

Some customers have written letters to express their feelings about the store closing. Others have called customer service to complain.

The announcement from parent company A&P said the store will be closing in July but employees expect to close sometime in June.

The closing of the store, along with the Super-Fresh in Milford and 30 other locations, was announced in April due to A&P’s ongoing bankruptcy.

Since the announcement, the staff at the store has mailed out letters to the customers stating their appreciation for their patronage and friendship. Prandeski has been taking photos of the customers.

When the doors at Super-Fresh do close for the final time, not only will the employees miss the customers, but they’ll miss their jobs as well.

“The truth is, not once did I get up in the morning and not want to come to work. I always woke up and thought ‘Good, I’m going to work.’” Devine said.

Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com