Petosa’s grocery in Edmonds to close after 26 years

EDMONDS — The only grocery store in downtown Edmonds is expected to close its doors for good in late February.

Owner Betty Jo Petosa declined to talk Friday about the impending end of her business, saying it’s just too difficult to discuss something she hoped would never happen.

Petosa’s Family Grocer, which employs about 26 people, has been a fixture on Fifth Avenue since 1986 when Betty Jo and her late husband, Tom Petosa, moved in to offer the community a delicatessen, a fresh-cut meat shop and full line of groceries. The store also has been the site of the city’s only state Department of Licensing bureau.

Petosa’s has been for sale for about two years, but no buyer emerged. The building is owned by another party.

The store’s customers primarily are retired people on fixed incomes. Many of them walk to the store and buy what little they need. Other customers stop by on quick runs for eggs, milk and bread.

In April, just before the Easter holiday, Petosa’s closed temporarily when a malfunctioning fire sprinkler flooded the grocery store. Betty Jo Petosa donated all of her undamaged perishable food to local food banks. When the store reopened about a week later, hundreds of downtown Edmonds business owners and customers staged a “cash mob” at the grocery and spent money to help Petosa get the business rolling again.

Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling praised the community for its support of the family-owned store, which he called an anchor of the city.

At the time, Earling posed a question that many customers now must face.

“Think how our downtown would feel if a disaster such as the one that hit Petosa’s permanently put it out of business,” Earling said.

On Friday, customers said they were sad about the news that the store is going to close.

George and Stefani Priest, both 80, walked to the store to pick up some groceries.

“A lot of elderly people walk to Petosa’s and many other places in the city,” Stefani Priest said. “It will be a sad day when we can’t walk here. They have a wonderful deli and good meats.”

Rosemarie Newman, of Seattle, praised the store’s meat counter, too, along with its produce. Newman accompanies her 99-year-old mother, who lives in Edmonds, to Petosa’s once a week for a two- or three-bag shopping trip.

“My mother has bought all of her groceries here for years and years,” Newman said. “We know all the employees and they are such nice people. It just breaks my heart. What happened to shopping local? I do not know where I will take my mother after February.”

Bette Bell, 73, of Edmonds, said she has been shopping at Petosa’s for 25 years.

“It’s so convenient,” Bell said. “I sure hope somebody will step up to take it over.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

More in Herald Business Journal

Bond sale reveals Paine Field terminal cost is about $40M

Propeller Airports, which is building on land leased from the county, raised the money in February.

Giant power storage ‘batteries’ show promise

The systems could reduce the impact of power outages, whether they’re caused by storms or hackers.

61 companies will be at career fair Tuesday at Tulalip casino

Job seekers can check in early and pick up a booth map and job-seeker resources.

How new tax rules on home-equity loans affect you

To deduct interest, the money must be used for the property that the loan is secured against.

Early 787 test plane is dismantled for reuse, recycling, or scrap

The first jet delivery was more than three years late and added billions of dollars to development costs.

A strong economy + growth = a shortage of school bus drivers

Districts are having a hard time staffing many of their routes.

Court: Copyright suit not allowed for selfie-taking monkey

PETA’s suit sought financial control of the photographs for the benefit of the animal named Naruto.

Sears’ biggest shareholder offers to buy Kenmore brand

The private equity firm ESL Investment is headed by Sears chairman and CEO Edward Lampert.

Most Read