Woodson Grocery Closes in Campbell County

By: Jim Freeman, Reporter
By: Jim Freeman, Reporter

LaFollette, Campbell County (WVLT) - It's the end of an era in Campbell County.

Monday evening at six o'clock, for the first time in 87 years, there won't be a Woodson's Grocery in Campbell County.

No matter how you add it up, Woodson's has been selling groceries and folks have been shopping there for a long time.

"Yeah, do I really have to tell you how many? I would say around 40 years," says Margie Leach says.

"Now we're on the 4th generation of customers," says Store Manager Randy Comer.

The first Woodson's store opened in LaFollette in 1920.

"I'm just really gonna miss it," Harold Turner's been a regular for a while. "I don't want to say how old I am, but, yea, mid-60s."

"I'm in here about everyday," Penny Sammons chuckles. "I am 'bout everyday, I'm in here."

It's a bittersweet day from the top on down.

"A little tough for me. I grew up here. I grew up in this store from 10-years-old on up," says Woodson Corporate President Rob Woodson.

Most of the employees are staying on and so is Manager Randy Comer. "Thirty years, started when I was 16 years old." Randy began as a bagger.

Rob did, too. "What I got to do was to bag eggs on Saturday morning. We were selling three-dozen eggs in a bag for eighty-nine cents."

Taylor Claiborne's tenure out-paces them all.

"Mrs. Woodson, Ethel, told me that when I went to work for 'em, Rob was wearing diapers," says Taylor Claiborne.

Taylor recalls what Rob's dad, the late R.L. Woodson, told him on his first day way back in 1950. "You've hired two cashiers and one of 'em's left handed and the other one's cross-eyed. We went from there."

The doors close for the final time on this building as Woodson's Super Market.

Overnight, new cash registers will be installed, inventory taken, a new sign put in place and the doors will open Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. as Hometown IGA.


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