Grandpa's C Mart Closes Its Doors Sunday

By: Amaka Ubaka Email
By: Amaka Ubaka Email

A longtime grocery store and deli in Dundee is calling it quits on Sunday.

Grandpa's C Mart has been a cornerstone of the neighborhood for the last 13 years.

Walking into the store it’s immediately apparent this is not a typical grocery store.

It's a little like home, everyone stops to chat with owners Louis and Paula Hyland.

“They come up and tell us when they're getting married,” says Paula.

“They tell us when they're pregnant and we've been through their spouses having cancer.”

It's a place where customers are more like extended family in this neighborhood store.

That's something Louis Hyland says he'll miss most.

“Of course I'm going miss it. I've got a great wife and I've got great kids, but I've got 100 that I can call by first name that come in here."

After working 16-hour days, the Hylands’ decided to close the store and retire from the grocery business.

At age 75, Louis has been in the industry since he was 14-years old.
He's finding it difficult to let go.

“It scares me to death, because I've never been without a store."

But the couple plans to stay busy, keeping open their catering business and helping out at several local pantries.

Even so Paula says it'll be strange to wake up and not have a place to go.

“I’m thrilled to death that we're going to have some time, scared to death that because we don't know what's going to happen."

Crystal Matthews stops by here several times a week. She says she can't believe this mom and pop shop is closing.

“I just found out two days ago and I was just absolutely devastated. I don't know what I’m going do now."

Jim Conway regularly stops in to buy juice. He's also sorry to see it go.

“Grandpa came in and did a great job of being a little neighborhood supply store and so we're going miss them."

It’s a change in a neighborhood at a little store that's touched so many.

“They'll come daily or every other day, it's good for us, good for them,” says Louis.

Grandpa's C Mart has is just one part of the Hylands’ busy life. For 40 years, they've taken care of more than 600 foster kids. Today they take care of two young men that were in foster care.

The couple also hopes to attend bible camp and take a brief vacation.

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