Family Owned White Lake Grocery Going Out of Business
The sign in front of Mr. Ron's Market reads, "Store Closing, We Give Up."
In about three or four weeks, Mr. Ron's Market on Round Lake Road will close its doors for good.
The signs in front of the business read, "Sale," and "Store Closing, We Give Up."
61-year-old Ron Hibbs, owner of the grocery store, said he cannot compete with all of the big chains opening on M-59.
"White Lake is growing, there's a lot of growth on 59," he said. "The big guys are getting bigger. The biggest Kroger store in the state of Michigan is coming 2.4 miles to my south. It's just a lot of the same."
Hibbs bought the store in 1998, but started working there in 1977.
"I've been here 36 years, the biggest part of my adult life," he said. "I've met thousands of wonderful people. White Lake is a great place to live and work, but it's just not working for me now."
According to Hibbs, his store is the longest continuously operating grocery in White Lake Township.
White Lake Township Planning Director Sean O’Neil said he could not confirm that statement, but said the store was definitely one of the oldest groceries in the township.
"That's the oldest area in the township, as far as development concerns," O'Neil said.
O'Neil said it was a shame that old grocery stores like Mr. Ron's are closing.
"Things are popping up on M-59 while Mr. Ron's is tucked away in a neighborhood," he said. "You can't get everything there (Mr. Ron's). People can go to Meijer and get everything, even hunting clothes."
After closing Mr. Ron's, Hibbs will join many others on the job hunt.
"I'm not ready to retire," he said. I love to work and I love the grocery business. The day after I lock the door, I'll be out there looking for something."
In the meantime, Hibbs is telling his customers to support Lakeview Market around the corner on Elizabeth Lake Road.
"We're not bitter about it at all," Hibbs said. "It is what it is. We wish the community well and thank all those supported us over all those years."