After nearly six decades, Pierce’s Grocery will close Saturday

Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:16 am



Above, Barb Pierce, right, totaled a customer’s merchandise Monday which included a couple of homemade sandwiches.

When you push the door open and hear a slight creek from the sound of the old wooden floors that have been walked on for 59 years, and the sound of the television in the upper left corner combined with some of the best fresh han-cut sandwiches in the county, only one place comes to mind … Pierce’s Grocery.

On Saturday, July 29, the doors will close for the final time as “Pierce’s Grocery.”

Barb Pierce, who has run the country store for the past 59 years, and most of those years with her husband Bill, was still cutting sandwich meat on Monday for those coming in around lunch time.

Pierce, whose store has been a place where customers could pick up a weekly copy of the Clinton County News for many, many years, said she will certainly miss the people she has seen daily in the store for the past nearly six decades at the west Albany location.

“I will miss the people who come in everyday,” Pierce said. “I will miss the vendors and I will miss you bringing me the papers every week.”

According to Pierce, she and her husband Bill married in 1956 and worked at the National Store in Burkesville, Kentucky, for Carlos Mayfield.

“Bill got a job working at GE (General Electric) in Louisville, Kentucky. There was a major layoff that left him out of work,” Pierce said. “We moved back to Bow, Kentucky and heard about a store that was up for auction by Mr. Glen Phillips and his wife. With the help of Bill’s family, we purchased the store and two houses in 1958.”

Pierce said her store opened in September that same year and with $1,500 in inventory to stock the store.

“We sold cigarettes for 50 cents a pack, drinks for 25 cents and candy for five cents,” Pierce said. “We paid five cents for return glass drink bottles.”

When Bill and Barb moved back in the area, she said they didn’t know many people, but that soon changed. On January 1, 1959, Bill and Barb’s first daughter, Kathy (Parrigin), was born at Barnes Clinic.

“Albany was much different during this time. All the streets were graveled and there wasn’t many businesses in town,” Pierce said. “I feel like, through the years, we were able to help lots of families get the groceries and food they needed. This community soon became our own family. In 1964, our youngest daughter Tyonia (Sinclair) was born. We raised three generations in Pierce’s Grocery and now have started on our fourth generation.”

During the 59 years Pierce’s Grocery has had its doors open, story after story was told in the front corner of the building.

“We have a corner hangout in front of the store where so many wonderful friends gather,” Pierce said. “Some come in as early as 4 a.m. and Bill always enjoyed seeing them. After Bill passed away, they have been great company for me. One of the boys put up a sign that says it best … ‘Fishing stories and other lies told here.’ They will always be our family.”

Pierce even said once someone worked the store for them and they didn’t know it until they had returned.

“One story I will never forget was when Bill and I closed the store to take the kids to Cumberland Falls. Vernon Hull came by and I had forgotten to lock the door. We had customers coming in and he stayed and worked until we came home. Vernon and his wife, Minnie, were great friends,” Pierce said.

Bill passed away on April 11, 2011 and Barb has kept the doors open with the help of her family ever since.

Throughout the 59 years the doors have been open, generations have come by and brought other generations by.

“Some of the older people who used to stop by and who are now gone, well, their grandchildren they brought in still come in. They have all grown up and I don’t recognize them anymore, but they all know me and call me by name,” Pierce said. “We want to thank all of our customers that made it possible for us to stay open for 59 years. We also want to thank the Albany Police Department for checking on me during the early morning hours.”

Barb said she and Bill were always dedicated to their customers, especially those who came in going to work early before any other store opened in town.

“Our customers became our family and we are proud that we had the opportunity to serve Albany. We wish all the businesses here the best,” Pierce said.

The property will be up for auction on September 2 and September 9.

As far as retirement goes, she plans on doing a little bit of everything including going to auctions to look for antiques, fishing and spend time with her family and “doggies.”

“We love this town and hope to see all of you around,” Pierce said.

Above, Barb Pierce, closed a transaction with a customer’s credit card. The West Albany fixture will close as Pierce’s Grocery this Saturday.