LAKEWOOD - It's the end of an era.
After more than 40 years in operation, grocery store Nature's Bin is closing.
The retailer's nonprofit parent company Cornucopia shared the news via both a Facebook post and a statement on the company's website.
"As shoppers’ options to purchase natural and organic products have expanded, we have experienced a dramatic decline in sales and Cornucopia can no longer continue to operate Nature’s Bin," the post read.
The store gave people with disabilities a "nurturing and safe place" to work, the company said online.
Jamie Smallwood has shopped at Nature’s Bin for eight years.
“When I walked in today it was a little bit hard to not have a tear come into my eye,” she said, Tuesday.
She believes in making healthy choices and the store’s unique mission.
“We’re like a family here at Nature’s Bin,” said employee Becky Grootaert.
She’s one of the workers out of a job.
“I had a box of tissues out today. Customers are just crying because they are that loyal,” said Grootaert.
All employees will have to look for other jobs. The trainees with disabilities will be placed in one of Cornucopia’s other programs where they’ll continue to learn skills to become more independent.
Beginning Wednesday, all merchandise will be marked down by 20 percent.
The last day will be November 12, but the company will continue to offer catering services.