by: Farron Salley Updated:
TULSA, Okla. - The only grocery store in north Tulsa is closing.
The owner of Gateway Market at Pine and Peoria, said he doesn’t make enough money to keep the place open.
A Tulsa city councilman is working to find another grocery store to move in, but FOX23’s Farron Salley found out some people can’t afford to wait.
Many shoppers are walkers and FOX23 found the next nearest grocery store is more than 2 miles away.
So for many of the people that come to Gateway Market, this is the only option.
“How am I supposed to feed my family?” asked Tela Morton, a shopper.
Morton and her son walked to the store to buy food for breakfast.
“I don’t have any money to go outside and catch the bus to Walmart or Warehouse Market. What is he supposed to do sit and home and be hungry?” she asked.
She’s outraged the only grocery store near her is closing. But the owner, Antonio Perez, said he kept it open as long as he could.
“Then we started losing money, and losing money, and losing money,” he said.
He told FOX23 he lost somewhere between $400,000-$600,000 in the four years the store has been open.
“You can make money in this community with a store. Mr. Perez tried it and he tried it his way,” said Jack Henderson, a Tulsa city councilor.
Henderson told people in an emergency community meeting Monday morning that he started working to find another grocery store to bring to north Tulsa, one that could better suit their needs for the long haul.
But other nearby businesses are worried the grocery store closure will hurt them too.
“I think it’s going to slow down some of the business that we get because people don’t know this store is here unless they go to some of the other stores,” said Cassie Smith, who works nearby.
And as for the walkers they depend on this business keeping its doors open.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, I really don’t,” said Morton.
The store is scheduled to close at the end of July. When that happens the owner said he’s probably going to use the space as a warehouse for his other grocery store.