Sandy bankrupted the South Amboy Foodtown. It is not just any grocery store, it is a family-run business that treated customers like family for years.
On Sunday night, cash registers were ringing, but the signs of sadness were everywhere - especially on the empty shelves.
Foodtown is the only grocery store in South Amboy, and is the heart of the town. On Monday night, it will stop feeding the community.
In 1928, Frank Paczkowski opened Frank's Meat Market. He was so successful, he expanded to a bigger location. Decades later, his son, Ed Paczkowski took over the family grocery store, and it became Foodtown. Customers say they always sold the best meat.
What took 84 years of sweat and sacrifice was wiped out by Sandy. Without power for 11 miserable days, the store lost all of its meat, produce, dairy, frozen foods and baked goods. More than $100,000 worth of inventory was spoled.
On Sunday night, great-grandchildren helped bag, and former workers helped check out. Everything was sold at half-price to clear out what Sandy didn't destroy.
Ed Paczkowski is hoping a new grocer will eventually move in the spot and serve his customers, but lifelong Foodtown customers know it just won't be the same.
Lights officially go out Monday at 6 p.m.
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