People in the tiny village of Elgin, N.B., are devastated at the news the Elgin Country Market is closing —; the general store has been a focal point in the community for more than 70 years.
“Just not enough support, I am just tired of trying to pay the bills” owner April Steeves said Friday about why the market is closing.
Steeves has been running the general store in the village of about 500 people for 13 years. She says that business just isn’t what it used to be.
“Most people work in town, they buy their groceries at the Superstores and the Walmarts where it is dirt cheap and they just drive by [the market],” Steeves said.
On Friday morning, the hugs were tight and the tears were flowing as the the news about the closure spread through the village. Steeves said it feels like the end of an era.
Walking into the market is like taking a step back in time. Market-goers can buy everything from gas to groceries, hardware to fishing licenses.
While business may be down, this Friday morning —; like every Friday morning —; Elgin’s wass packed with locals, all with their sweet tooth, in search of one special treat —; the infamous sticky buns.
“We probably have been coming here 25 years” said local resident Dot Hill.
She and a group of about eight women gather at the market each week —; they even have their own table. Dot says it’s where she and her friends connect and share stories.
Built back in 1945, Elgin Country Market was a place where the locals would gather. Dot says she and the girls sit at one table, their husbands at another.
“We have stories to tell and they have stories to tell, and maybe they don’t want to hear ours” she laughed.
Dot’s husband Bob, who is also sad to see the store closing, says the market is a place where local memories are born and shared.
“It’s really sad it sucks, like I put my blood sweat and tears into this place” Steeves said, adding the property is up for sale but she hasn’t had any takers yet.
“It’s gonna be a ghost town, there is nothing else here.”
The market will officially close on August 27. Dot and the girls say they’re not sure if they’ll come the Friday before, as it will be too hard. She hopes someone will take over the market and carry on the life of the small-town gem.