Vista Food in Bedford will be closing today but the county is hoping it won’t be closed for long.

The grocery store, located at 212 E. Washington St. in the town of Bedford, is owned by the Bedford County Economic Development Authority. It has been open 65 years and has 15 employees.

Traci Blido, director of economic development for the county, said the EDA is working on signing a new grocery retail tenant to occupy the space as soon as possible.

“It’s an important asset to the community as many people in that area who rely on the store to supply their weekly groceries, including fresh items such as meats and vegetables,” she said.

Katie Sloan, manager of the store since last July, said Amit Patel, owner of Vista Food, has had a hard time competing with online shopping and corporate grocery stores such as Food Lion and Walmart.

The store has been holding a liquidation sale since Monday and has marked everything down to 50% off, Sloan said.

“It’s sad,” she said. “It’s a staple in the community known for its great meats and produce. It’s hard to see it go, but we hope we’ll be back.”

She said Patel owns several other stores in the area, including in Thaxton and Sedalia, where some employees have been offered positions. She said other employees want to work for the grocer who takes over Vista Food.

She said she doesn’t know who the next tenant will be, but the hope is for another grocery store to reopen in the early spring.

Rachael Smith covers local businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at (434) 385-5482.

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