By Alyse Horn
After serving the Northside for 18 years, Doug’s Market, 1327 Arch St., closed its doors for good on Saturday, December 7.
Doug Nimmo, owner of the market, said the lack of business was the main factor in deciding to close.
Nimmo said with the neighborhood changing over the years, the business has seen a drop in sales with customers going to big discount stores for lower prices that he can’t match.
“I’m not bitter, I’m just grateful for the run we had,” Nimmo said.
In 1995, Nimmo was working at Brilliance Market when he found out his future store was for sale. As the story goes, one night over a glass of wine he was talking to friend Randy Gilson about how it would be “cool” to own the store and Gilson told him, “just do it.”
After taking out a loan and putting everything on the line, he did.
“We had a heck of a thing going for many, many years,” Nimmo said. “It was so much fun seeing people every day, a lot have been like family to me. I got to watch their kids grow up.”
Lydia Lindsay, a regular shopper at Doug’s since 2003, said between shopping at the market and her weekly community supported agriculture box she was able to greatly reduce her need to shop at larger stores.
Lindsay said there are many things she will miss about Doug’s once it is gone, from the convenience of walking distance to the care Nimmo showed for customer’s special orders.
“They even asked what type of whole bean coffee I liked and started carrying that,” Lindsay said. “Customer service of that nature is really hard to find these days.”
Lindsay and Nimmo both agreed that with a tight economy, they do not blame customers going to big discount stores.
Nimmo said the week leading up to the store closing has been extremely emotional with a lot of hugs and tears, but it’s time to slow down a little bit and enjoy life.
The store closed the exact date it opened 18 years ago. Nimmo still owns the building and is hoping to lease it to someone with a new business idea.
The building was established in 1895 and has housed a number of butchers and grocers for the community.
Lindsay said if the neighborhood supported it, she would like to see the space used for “a high quality food purveyor of some sort,” but realistically would have to cater to a mixed income neighborhood.