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Customers, Councilor Hoping For Solution To North Tulsa Grocer's Closing

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TULSA, Oklahoma - Open for four years, the shelves at Gateway Market at Pine Street and Peoria Avenue are emptying.

Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson discussed the situation with community members at a meeting over the weekend. He says letters are already out to other stores to move in.

“I live 5 minutes away and the prices were right, we had good product. I just don't know why it's closing," customer Derosa Boyd said.

Boyd just became a grandfather. He's now wondering where he's going to go get baby food when Gateway Market closes its doors.

"I shop here every day,” he said. “I've seen people here. The parking lot is pretty much full."

Gateway Market is the only grocery store in north Tulsa, and neighbors are worried about the limited food options they'll be left with.

“We won't have anything over here for the community, no kind of store,” customer Chamayne Pearson said. “I think they should reconsider.”

The grocery store's owner last month told News On 6 he's closing the store because the he wasn't making any money.

"We didn't get the community's support, we were losing money, having a lot of problems, having problems with employees and a lot of issues and basically losing a lot of money and having a lot of stress," owner Antonio Perez said.

7/19/2014 Related Story: City Councilor Working To Attract Grocery Retailer To North Tulsa

Community members along with Henderson are now working to recruit another store to move in.

“We sent letters to about seven,” Henderson said. “I've got other people that are working in the community trying to find out if there's somebody in the community willing to take a chance and do a grocery store."

Henderson said a chain like Walmart could bring in its 'Neighborhood Market' store and be successful.

"Any store that came in that could keep their prices low and compete with other stores out of this community, could come in here and make a killing," he said.

6/30/2014 Related Story: Shoppers Seek Investors To Keep North Tulsa Grocery Store Open

Neighbors are optimistic a new store will eventually move in.

“It's very important that we get one,” Pearson said. “We don't have anything left. All we have left is a liquor store and a few other little items, Subway. We need a grocery store."

Gateway Market's owner said it planned on closing two weeks ago, but it's still selling groceries at a discount.

“We are hopeful, very hopeful that somebody will come in and pick it up and we can continue to live," Pearson said.

Henderson hopes when a new owner decides to open up a new grocery store, the community gives it full support.

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