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Specialty grocer Prairie Town Grocery to close by Aug. 15

The Prairie Town Grocery store may close its doors for good by August.

Leonard Lambright, who co-owns Prairie Town Grocery with his wife, LaLainya, said it's time for a change. They aim to be done by Aug. 15, Lambright said. Their store is located at 601 S. Sanborn Blvd. and opened in August 2008.

The couple nearly closed the store last fall, but then found a manager to run the business during the owners' absence. Because of a family matter, the couple have decided to leave Mitchell for a time to be with LaLainya's family in Arizona.

"We just simply can't be tied to this area anymore," Lambright said. "The main thing is the situation in Arizona, but we just need to move on in our lives, and the store at this point is holding us back from that."

Lambright said he and his wife haven't found anyone to take over the store, and that he has been approached by potential buyers.

"I think there is plenty of money in Mitchell that people could invest in the store," Lambright said. "But it seems that people who have the funds don't have the heart for it and the people who have the heart for it don't have the money. So it's kind of a double punch there."

The Prairie Town Grocery store isn't closing because we don't have customers, said Lambright. The only way the store could stay open without Lambright and his wife is if somebody bought it outright, said Lambright. He bought the building that now houses Prairie Town Grocery in 2008 for $175,000. The building was home to several businesses before then and had become rundown and vacant in the years before Prairie Town Grocery opened.

"We would love to see the store go on, it just won't be us who will do it," Lambright said. "We need more flexibility than the store provided us. When we were pouring our hearts into it, it went really well. When we started getting pulled away, that's when things got hard. That's when we realized something had to change."