New Year brings Locker closing

After 11 years, Candy and John Niewoehner are closing the doors of Lime Springs Locker & Grocery.

The new year is a time of hope and renewal. Unfortunately for Lime Springs, the new year will ring in one less business as the Lime Springs Locker is closing its doors.

Owners John and Candy Niewoehner wrestled with the idea of closing after John got a full-time supervisory position at Quality Pork in Austin. Even taking the job was a hard decision for John.

“I stumbled across the job and thought about it. It was still there awhile later, so I applied.” John had a four-hour interview and was hired shortly thereafter. “I couldn’t turn down the pay and benefits,” he explained. He started working the 3:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. shift on Nov. 21.

Since then, he has had two full-time jobs and little sleep. He would get home from his Austin job, get a few hours sleep and come into the Locker, sometimes grabbing a nap in the afternoon before starting over.

The business was up for sale and there were a few nibbles, but nobody stepped up to purchase Lime Springs Locker and Grocery, which has been in Lime Springs since 1946, when L.H. Novak added a locker to his creamery business. In 1962 Robert Walton added the grocery division to the business.

The locker has been the only grocery store in Lime Springs since the closing of Jones Meat Market in 1990.

The business will stay open off and on through the month of January as Niewoehners start the process of closing. Those with meat lockers will be asked to find an alternative place to store their items, but John says he is willing to work with customers.

The couple is still hoping someone will purchase the business because so many of their customers have expressed their sorrow at the closing of the long-standing business. Current part-time employees are Jenna Meyer and Linda Murphy.

Candy, who is attending RCTC full time for nursing, adds, “It’ll be different for both of us. I’ll miss the people the most.”

 

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