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Grafton Country Store closes after 170 years - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Grafton Country Store closes after 170 years

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GRAFTON, N.H. - Cars speed by the only convenience store in Grafton, New Hampshire, without stopping. The Grafton Country Store abruptly closed recently, leaving people in town surprised and disappointed.

"It is just an important place in the town," said Dorothy Campbell, the town treasurer.

Campbell has lived in Grafton for more than three decades.

"If you want to pick up something quick from the grocery store, you can run to the general store," she said. "We need a store to keep in contact with people. You could get all the news that wasn't in the newspaper at the general store."

The managers of the store, who declined to speak on camera, say the business's fate was sealed several weeks ago when owner Vinnie Bianco stopped filling the gas pumps.

"I really hope that somebody will come in quickly and make it profitable," Campbell said. "And we wish them luck when they try that. Most people in town support the store."

Now, Grafton residents have to drive several miles to get gas or simply a gallon of milk. But people we spoke with say they will miss the community aspect it brings the most.

"The general store in a town is usually a gathering place where most of the town's issues get discussed one way or another. Guys sitting on the porch having coffee. Just most every town should have one," said Walt Hazelton of Grafton.

Hazelton says he wasn't a regular customer, but he's worried about what its absence will mean for the town.

"I just hope someone else will get in there and the people who lost their jobs there will be able to go back to work there," he said.

Six employees lost their jobs as a business nearly 170 years old failed to make ends meet.

The owner of the store declined comment on its closing. The previous manager told us the building is now owned by the Franklin Savings Bank.

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170-year-old general store closes
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