Dottie’s Discount Foods Closing its Doors
Dottie’s Discount Foods has been a staple of our community for over ten years. It has had its ups and downs but always delivered as a small, welcoming, community grocery store to our downtown. We have seen many iterations of the store from its start as a corner in the Co-op in the old Brookside plaza store. As the Co-op grew, so did Dottie’s, branching out to its own location on Flat St. Some of you may remember how invaluable Dottie’s was when the Main Street bridge was out. With Dottie’s expansion, varying product lines came and went, from our BFC -made sausages to salvaged products to inexpensive conventional product lines like Shur Fine and Food Club products. Many downtown residents came to rely on Dottie’s very inexpensive bread, milk, and eggs. Over the past few years, however, Dottie’s has experienced dwindling sales. Maybe it was Wal-mart’s expansion or ALDI’s new presence in Brattleboro. Perhaps it became more difficult at times to acquire enticing salvage products, or maybe our community changed. In an effort to be more of a service to the community we dropped prices even more, we shifted hours and upgraded our merchandising. But despite our efforts, after three years of lost revenue we are no longer able to keep the store open. In thinking about what to do, we considered the long-term trends in our business, in our community, and now, concern about the social and economic results of this pandemic.