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Sprankle's Neighborhood Market to close in Apollo

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Sprankle's Neighborhood Market in Apollo is schedule to close. Other Sprankle's locations will continue to operate. Photographed Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013.

A going-out-of-business sale was scheduled to start on Friday in Sprankle's Neighborhood Market in Apollo.

Employees of the 5-year-old grocery store in Apollo Plaza were told Wednesday night that the market would be closing in two to three weeks, according to Tammy Martin, a pricing coordinator at the store.

Sprankle's stores in Leechburg, Kittanning and Vandergrift will remain open.

“Apollo is a town that has three grocery stores for not very many people. The numbers weren't there to keep it open anymore,” said Brandi Sprankle, who does marketing and book work for the stores. “Statistically, on paper, it was a gamble to buy the store to begin with.”

Sprankle's is the only grocery store in Apollo proper. The other stores Sprankle was referring to are a Shop ‘n Save in North Apollo, Naser Foods across the Kiski River in Oklahoma Borough and a Giant Eagle in Allegheny Township.

The sale will feature a 20 percent discount.

No closing date has been set; it will depend week-to-week on inventory, Sprankle said.

A total of 18 people work at the store, Sprankle said. She said they would try to find jobs for those interested in moving to one of the other locations.

Randy and Brenda Sprankle own the business and the building. Brandi Sprankle they have not made any decisions on what will be done with the building.

Randy Sprankle could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

“We know how having a grocery store in a town affects the community,” Brandi Sprankle said. “We are very sad to close the door, and I'm sure they wouldn't be doing it unless it was absolutely necessary.”

Sprankle's took over the location in 2008. It had previously been Oliver's IGA.

The store's closing is bad news for the borough, council President David Heffernan said.

“It's nice to have a grocery store in your town, especially for the senior people,” he said.

“That was a good place for the seniors to go to.”

Heffernan said ownership of the location has changed several times and has been vacant, sometimes for long stretches.

“Generally, there's always been a grocery store in this town,” he said.

“I certainly want to find someone else that would be interested. I don't know at this point who that might be.”

Borough officials at Thursday night's council meeting said they would invite the Sprankles to council's meeting Monday night to determine if there's anything the borough could do to keep the store open.

Brandi Sprankle said she is not aware of anything that could be done to reverse the decision to close.

“It was a really hard decision. It was almost like a death in the family,” she said.

“We loved owning a business in Apollo.

“We donated to all the sports teams. We ingrained ourselves in the community and considered ourselves Apollo community members.

“We really gave it our all.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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