Customers bid fond farewell to Petosa’s
About two dozen well-wishers gathered inside Petosa’s Family Grocer Thursday night to say farewell to employees at the downtown Edmonds store, which closed its doors for the last time after serving customers for 26 years.
Petosa’s supporters, many of whom had been coming to the store for years, streamed through the entrance just after 6 p.m. Led by Edmonds resident Maggie Fimia, who organized the good-bye gathering, the group said in unison: “Thank you. We love you. We’ll miss you,” then presented flowers to Petosa’s employees.
Checker Linda Elliott and Manager Kevin Hansen-Lynn — who have both worked at the store for six years — were among those accepting hugs and well wishes. Customers said they were hopeful that the Petosa’s employees would be hired by the new grocery store operator set to occupy the building in early April, assuming all the paperwork is in order.
Surrounded by mostly bare shelves — the result of a 50-percent off sale leading up to the final day — Elliott was emotional as she talked about leaving her co-workers, whom she considers to be family.
“We all want to lock arms and say, ‘Hire us together,’” Elliott said.
The employees were set to gather one last time for a champagne toast, shortly after the 7 p.m. closing time, before the doors were locked for good, she added.
Founded by Tom and Betty Jo Petosa, the store was Edmonds’ only independent, family-owned and operated grocery store. To honor their legacy, Fimia has started a petition to change the name of Edmonds City Park, located just a few blocks away from the store, to Petosa City Park.
Until the new store — said to be part of a national chain operated by a Snohomish County man – is established, the auto licensing office located inside the former Petosa’s building will remain open.