Life After C&K Market

WALTERVILLE, Ore. — In just over a month, the Oregon company C&K Market is expected to sell or close a third of its stores.

A Walterville store got the same notice just this past summer, but was spared at the last moment.

C&K representatives said increasing competition and decreasing profitability was a key factor in both these decisions.

So, we went around asking employees and customers how they’re managing during this change of hands.

The signs outside have changed, but memories of the old space are reminders of a troubled past.

Current Manager Jerry Swartz was the original owner of the shop, which was the only one in Walterville and miles from any other.

“My brother and I sold it to Ray’s…in recent years since they’ve been having a little bit of trouble. We realized the store was going to close or sell so that was kind of painful,” Swartz said.

The days leading up to the Sept. 8 closure were tough, but the days that followed are much brighter.

“We love the employees. They’re so wonderful that there was really no transition,” said customer Beth Roberson.

“I see it getting better, they got the meat department back in…and I get a lot of comments from people constantly saying we love it. Like the prices have gone down somewhat and it’s more accommodating,” said customer Kay Lambert.

Employees agree.

“This market’s been kind of everybody’s market, and the people depend on us,” said Pam Johnson, store employee.

Both sides say they realize success is a community effort

“It’s very handy, so let’s support it. Keep it here. Please,” said Bill Nigh, Store Manager.

And they hope everyone will take a part in it.

C&K representatives say those 16 stores are set to close by the end of the year.

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