New Middletown loses small-town community grocery store

New Middletown loses small-town community grocery store

NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Frattaroli’s Sparkle Market in New Middletown, the only grocery store in the community, closed its doors for good on Sunday.

Mary Haney comes to the Sparkle Market twice a week, and says it’s the only grocery store she shops at.

“The people are so friendly, it’s like visiting your friends…I don’t know, I just really don’t know where I am going to shop.”

“The people in this town are wonderful and they really tried supporting us, but you know, times changed,” said Sparkle owner, Tony Frattaroli Jr. “Things changed and bigger things come about, that’s what happens.”

He thinks his store is losing business to bigger stores in the area.

“You can’t buy furniture, you can’t buy anything in New Middletown, so you drive into Boardman anyway.”

Haney says Frattaroli was more than just a store owner.

“I’ve seen him help people get in and out of their car when the roads were bad. He would help the elderly walk through the snow, I mean he did everything.”

She stocked up on groceries Sunday so she won’t have to shop for a while. Haney says she’ll never find a grocer like Frattaroli’s Sparkle.

“All the cashiers were friendly, the workers, the people that are stockers were helpful, the people behind the deli were sweethearts. Everybody was so nice.”

Frattaroli says he might look into opening a different grocery store in the future.

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