Saturday, 2:15 PM
UPDATE: Reading residents searching for ways to save downtown store
By Globe Staff
A Reading woman said she will host a community meeting Saturday night to search for ways to keep the Atlantic Food Mart open following a decision by its owner to close the 86-year-old store.
The Haven street store is considered by many Reading residents to be an institution and a landmark. Owner Arnold Rubin announced this week that he is shutting down the store opened by his grandfather in 1922, citing declining revenues and increased costs.
Once the only supermarket in town, two chain stores, Market Basket and Stop & Shop, opened stores within the last year, drawing some Atlantic customers away.
Jody Avtges admitted today that she was one of the longtime Atlantic customers who started spending up to 30 percent of her grocery money at Market Basket. But, she said, she wants to keep Atlantic open, and failing that, she wants to make sure a grocery store remains in the downtown neighborhood.
She said she hopes people with skills facilitating group discussion, workers from the grocery store industry - in-store and buyers - and those with general retail experience will attend the 7:30 p.m. meeting in her 42 Washington St. house.
Avtges does not want phone calls or RSVPs. She provided her e-mail address. It is firstname.lastname@example.org
"I love the Atlantic,'' she said. "I go there when I'm feeling lonely, if I want to run into somebody. It's just the best thing Reading has got going for it.''
The Globe published a story on the Atlantic in today's editions.
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