West Side grocery store closing in August

Duthler's closing on Grand Rapids West side

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's a grocery store, a family and a place to see a familiar face. That's what encompasses Duthler's Family Foods.

"We treat a lot of our customers as family, we get treated really badly here too. We get called names; racial slurs but we continue being us, who we are," office manager Monique Smith said.

Smith has been working here for 16 years.

"You know a lot of people say without the customers you wouldn't have a paycheck. No without them, we wouldn't be who we are today," Smith said.

Which is why the closing sign on the door is a hard thing to see.

"This is the community store pretty much, and a lot of them have been forced to move or can't afford rent -- this is low income and it's not going to be that way anymore," Smith said.

For that reason and because of an issue with their lease, Smith said the store is forced to close.

"I've struggled through life just to make it, but my bosses and everybody here -- it's all family and it's sad, it really is," Smith said.

This place has a lot of history for Smith.

"It hurts, to see my kids grew up working here, this was their first job. This was my job for 16 years, I didn't go back home. My home is Louisiana, because this is my home," Smith said.

It's a staple in this community, and will close its doors next month. Smith says she will continue serving her customers until the very end.

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