WINTHROP – A community mainstay run by a beloved grocer and his family for 50 years is closing its doors on Dec. 31.
Proprietor Peggy Cook has announced she will lock the doors for the last time at Rufa's Store, 633 State Rt. 11C, Winthrop, which she ran with her father, local institution Frankie Rufa.
According to a Facebook site dedicated to the old-fashioned mom-and-pop store, Cook decided to close the place after Frankie's death this past October at the age of 88.
The Facebook site was started by Peggy Cook's daughter, Nicole Cook, as a place for people to share memories of the popular shop. Several photographs are also posted there.
According to the description on the site's information page, Nicole wants to surprise her mother with the site and the many memories printed there. She also plans to compile a little book of photos and memories for her mother, and hopes everyone will contribute.
Already, people from across the country who remember frequent trips to Rufa's in their youth have taken the time to wax nostalgic about the friendly Frankie, his wife Edna, and Peggy.
"When I was a little girl I would go into Rufa's all of the time as I was growing up. I have lived in MI for the past 18 years but whenever I would go to Winthrop, I would always make a point to stop and see Frankie," wrote Michele Smith-Shulters. "He always remembered me. I loved going there as a kid and I remember when I was really sick and didn't go into the store with my Mom, Frankie came out to the car to see me and brought me out an icecream. I loved that man and that store! And I remember Frankie always asking me if he could give my Mom a kiss as well!
Anyone who would like to post a memory or photo, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rufas-Store/147538455273785