GREAT FALLS — Since 1997, the Peres Food Basket at 2700 Second Avenue North has been a staple in the Great Falls community. Now, they are closing their doors for the final time on January 31st.
A locally-owned store can mean a lot to a community, especially when it has been around for more than 25 years.
“A lot of people have a lot of memories about the store,” said Laurie Peres, owner of the Peres Food Basket. “We did outside movies on Friday nights. We did tie-dye Friday. If you wore tie dye, you got a free drink.”
Unfortunately, Peres is losing her sight, and cannot manage the store herself anymore. Her children have stepped up, but working additional jobs along with running a convenience store has taken its toll.
“You know, they're tired so they can't work multiple jobs and still survive,” Peres said.
Peres now spends her time babysitting her grandchild. In the meantime, she’s hoping they can find a buyer for the building.
“You know, the building's pretty old and there's problems there,” Peres said, “But I'm sure, you know, we listed it and we took off some of the money for the problems. I think it's right, based on where it would be at.”
Wednesday is the last day of operation for the Food Basket, and Peres will be around, sharing memories with her community before the open sign turns off for the last time.
“I appreciate all the support I've had all the years,” Peres said.
As of now, the Food Basket has had a handful of people interested in buying the store, but no one has committed to purchasing it.