Pic Pac, a Frankfort staple for more than a half-century, isn’t going away after all.
In January, the grocery store’s owner, Danny Bryant, announced the supermarket would close by March 31. However, thanks to an outpouring of community support and reduced expenses, Bryant decided the store can continue serving downtown and South Frankfort workers and residents like it has since 1953.
“It’s got a lot to with getting our expenses under control, and the up kick in business has helped tremendously,” Bryant said Tuesday.
The store has been able to lower all expenses except the electric bill, which Bryant says is something everyone has to deal with.
Since the closure was announced in January, sales have gone up 30 percent, which is “unbelievable for a retail grocery store,” Bryant said.
“If you can get your sales to rise 1 to 2 percent a year, you’re flying high, but 30 percent is an insane amount,” he said.
The closure announcement drew an emotional response from Pic Pac customers.
“I had Vietnam vets coming up to the meat case crying because we were going to close. It was bad. It was like going to a funeral for five days, until we finally got things turned around,” Bryant said.
It was hard on employees when they thought the store would be closing, but they are all excited now. Jimmy Harris, a Pic Pac employee, said there have been a lot of mixed emotions in the last month.
“Of course everybody wanted to save it so it could stay open, and of course we’ve all got families too, so if it was to close, it would be a double whammy for Danny and for our families too,” Harris said.
The store has been a part of his life for a long time.
“I’ve been seeing this store in the community since I was a kid. Danny, he’s a good guy. It would’ve been crazy for it to shut down,” Harris said.
At the front of the store, a sign reads “Save Pic Pac.” On it are the signatures of over 100 customers who visited the store since the closure was announced.
Pic Pac opened in downtown Frankfort during the spring of 1953. Bryant has worked there for over 40 years, beginning in the summer of 1976.
“I think it is a vital part of the downtown community, a vital part. It needs to be here,” he said.
In order for the store to stay open for the long haul, the community must continue to show support, he said.
“This is their store. If they want to support it, it will continue to stay open for many, many years,” Bryant said.