Customers mourn loss of neighborhood grocery store

- Customers in one Phoenix neighborhood are mourning the loss of their neighborhood grocery store, which also happens to be the oldest Basha's store in the Phoenix area.

The store, which has been located on the corner of 7th Avenue and Osborn, will close at 6:00 p.m. on Friday. There are positions available for employees at other stores around the Valley. The store site has been sold to a developer for millions.

The store opened in 1956. Back then, a dozen eggs cost 45 cents. Today, according to a Basha's ad that is scheduled to expire on April 25, a dozen eggs cost 99 cents.

"It is actually like a hometown grocery," said Gail Crittenden. "People know you when you walk in. They ask about you family."

Meanwhile, Frank Gonzales, who has worked at the store since he was 22 years old, said he has had to comfort many a tearful customer.

"They're bawling," said Gonzales. "They say, 'I don't know what I'm crying.' I say because there's a lot of good family here. A lot of good employees work together. We're almost like a family."

Current plans call for a multi-million mixed apartment and retail development at the site. As for grocery shopping, a Safeway store is located across the Basha's, in a strip mall on the northeast corner of 7th Avenue and Osborn.

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