Community raises thousands to save Wilmore grocery store

WILMORE, Ky. (WKYT) - For years, Fitch's IGA in Wilmore has been the city's only grocery store. Now the community is raising money to pay the store back and help keep it open.

"What he does here goes beyond giving us groceries. It's giving us community," Julie Jobryce, a customer, says.

When the store's freezers stopped working, owner Leonard Fitch faced a problem he didn't have the money to fix.

"We've just had the worst summer for refrigeration," Fitch says.

Fitch says he was at the store when the compressor went out, so he was able to save the produce and meat. Otherwise, he says, it would have been a total loss.

"It's beyond having a grocery store in my backyard where I can go grab something when I need it. I love being able to run down here at 7:00 in the morning because I forgot something to serve breakfast to my guests. But more than that I love that anytime I walk in here, something is going on," Jobryce says.

So far folks have raised more than $6,000. That's more than enough money to fix the compressor.

"It would be devastating for this store not to be here," Jobryce says.

"I just feel like it's part of my life. People often say, 'Don't you want to go home?' I say, 'This is my home.' The store is my home," Fitch says.

Fitch says he also hopes to replace other freezers in the store and maybe make even more changes to keep the doors at Fitch's open for years to come.

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