Bassham’s Grocery To Close After 62 Years

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MOUNTAINBURG (KFSM) -- For 62 years, Bassham's grocery has been the main source of food for the communities of Mountainburg and Chester. People like Deen Gattis have shopped there for years.

"Whenever we buy meat, we buy a lot of it here at Bassham's because they cut their own meat, and it's reasonably priced,” Gattis said.

But soon, groceries won't be sold here. Owner Joyce Bassham declined to speak on camera but said she retired this year after being a teacher for 42 years at Mountainburg Elementary School.

There is one thing that will be missed aside from store's deli and milk.

"We always appreciated they had what we call ‘Banana Tuesday,’” Gattis said. “Every Tuesday bananas were 25 cents a pound here."

Harry and Lois Bassham opened the store in 1952. In 1975, their son Terry and his wife Joyce bought the store. Terry recently died.

"They're sort of a fixture in the community,” Gattis said. “Kind of breaks everybody's heart to think that we're losing them. But I guess everything changes. But that sort of leaves us without a grocery and gas is awfully expensive to drive all the way to Alma for your basic groceries.”

Bassham said she is closing the store to spend more time with her grandchildren. The store on highway 71 will close its doors for the last time on New Year’s Eve.


  • velda

    They can’t sell with prices near wal-mart and everyone would rather go to a big store anyway. It is sad to see them die out.



    • wyndwold9

      Ron, this story is about the closing of Bassham Grocery, and what a tragedy it is for our community, please stay on topic. Also, Deen’s name is spelled Deen on his birth certificate, not Dean. This story is not about him, it is a story about the hardship this closing will cause to many in our community, Basshams delivers groceries to many shut ins who can’t shop for themselves and have no one to shop for them. What will they do, who will help? And Ron, please release your all caps key, you are “shouting”.

  • Ralph Bryant

    It is just a matter of economic conditions as I have tried to tell people all along. This is another nail in the coffin for the tax base that our city government relies on to keep local services up and running, and will eliminate a third or more of the tax receipts being brought in to the city on a fiscal basis. The hocus-pocus election promises of more businesses and more jobs for Mountainburg is not off to a very good start. People will always continue to do whatever is to their own personal best interest, getting the best and most for their dollar even when that entails buying out of town. From the time I first moved to Mountainburg in 1989 until now, and mostly due to the interstate bypassing the old commercial district along Highway 71, I have seen our town die a slow painful death as business after business has closed its doors never to re-open. Having new businesses and new jobs clamoring to start in or move to Mountainburg under the present economic conditions sounds very good on the face of things, but may end up being nothing more than wishful thinking. As so often the case, the voting public will continue to have expectations to the stars while resources continue to drop toward the bottom end of the spectrum.

    • wyndwold9

      Well said. It is a law of nature, change and adapt, or die. We moved here in 1974, and we have watched this little town die off business by business, this is the sound of the last nail in the coffin. This will hurt so many people in many different ways.

  • Amy

    Mountainburg has done this to itself, so I feel no sympathy for them. A lot of businesses have tried to move into Mountainburg, only to be turned away by Mountainburg’s own cliquey and inept city council. Sonic tried to move in, and was turned away because it might put the Dairy (Dump) Dream out of business, that’s only open during the summer. How stupid is that? Mountainburg is exactly what it is because that’s the way it wants to be.

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