WHITMIRE, S.C. — Residents in the Town of Whitmire, in Newberry County, are upset after finding out their local Piggly Wiggly will be closing on Friday, Feb 11.
The grocery store is the only full service grocery store in their community.
"It’s just devastating, really, that we’re losing our only grocery store," said Cheryl Ramsey, Whitmire resident.
Ramsey explains, the closest grocery store is 17 miles away, in Newberry, Clinton, and Union. She said the drive is equal to around 25 minutes from Withmire.
"If we don’t have a grocery store, that ends all hope of the possibility that Whitmire may grow," Ramsey said. "It’s just going to be a dead forgotten town."
Whitmire's Councilman, Michael Thomas said town leaders didn't know about the news until signs were posted on the doors of the store.
"As a council, we did not find out until Friday evening when the Pig put the notes up on the doors that they were closing," said Councilman Thomas. "We didn’t have any lead way, didn’t even know they were closing."
It's unclear what will happen to the building and the property. News 19 reached out to the store owner but they were not available on Monday.
News 19 also reached out to Piggly Wiggly's corporate team, but have not gotten a response.
"Whitmire is a small town," Councilman Whitmire said. "This store has been here for years. Once you move a grocery store out or tear anything else out, it will be so much astronomical cost to build another grocery store, it will not be economical for a small town as Whitmire."
Terry Michaels said he drives 15 minutes to Piggly Wiggly from his home in Carlisle. He said the closure will make it difficult for more people than just residents in Whitmire.
"I’m gonna have to go drive about 26 miles to Newberry now," Michaels said. "Gas situation is going to make it hard on some folks. Especially if you don’t have transportation. I see a lot of people come in here that live nearby, what are they going to do?"
Residents have also started a petition to keep the grocery store open.
Living Hope Foundation said they are willing to help provide food to residents in Whitmire and other portions of Newberry County who need the help. To find more information, CLICK HERE.