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The only full-line grocery store in Cherokee is closed, laying off almost 30 employees.
A large green sign saying, "Sorry out of business," is posted on the front door of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Cherokee along Highway 72.
The closure of the towns only grocery store to get produce and meats at is putting people in a tough spot.
"It's unbelievable the people here are just really upset," said Cherokee resident, Mark Goins.
Goins told WAAY 31 to get to the closest grocery store means he will have to drive to Muscle Shoals or Iuka, Mississippi.
"Now we have to drive anywhere from 10 to 15 miles to go to Walmart or some other grocery store. It's just a sad situation," said Goins.
Each Piggly Wiggly is independently owned. While it will be inconvenient and costly for residents to drive farther, almost 30 people have lost their jobs.
"Right at the holidays we're all losing our jobs," said one former Piggly Wiggly employee, who spoke with WAAY 31 on the condition of anonymity so it wouldn't hurt her future job prospects.
She said the store manager received a fax Thursday morning from the store owner saying everyone was laid off. They told WAAY 31 the owner told employees he was closing the store because it was losing money.
We have reached out to the owner to see why he pulled the plug on the only grocery store in Cherokee, but we have yet to hear back from him. For some employees, it was much more than a paycheck.
"It makes me sad. It makes me very sad for this community, because we have so many elderly people who depend on us, and we took care of them. We were a hometown store."
Cherokee still has a Dollar General and Subway. The former Piggly Wiggly employees are hopeful someone will buy the building and bring in a new grocery store.
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