SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Savannah mainstay is closing its doors.
For more than 75 years, Polk's Market has sold produce and flowers and has been a downtown institution. On Thursday, owner Jerry Polk informed customers the market is closing.
While the business will stay in the family, moving to Pooler, it is still hard for Jerry Polk to say goodbye to downtown Savannah.
"It's a sad time for us. We're going to miss a lot of the folks," Polk told WTOC.
Fighting back tears and packing up Polk's Market on East Liberty Street for the last time, Polk calls closing the family business a decision he fought to the end.
"We just fell on some hard times. The economy. The weather. It just seems like it's a little bit slower than it used to be," Polk said. "We made a good run at it but we just couldn't hold on any longer."
The family business started with Jerry's father, who opened Polk's Produce in the old City Market on Ellis Square in the 1930's. Eventually, it moved to the new City Market.
"It's just been a fun run," Polk said.
Polk's Market moved to Liberty Street about ten years ago. Polk says closing down is hard for his family, but saying goodbye to his customers is what is really tough.
"A little lady that comes in, she said she just read the paper and it felt like she was reading an old friend just died. Breaks my heart and breaks my heart that I have to leave from here after I put so much in it," Polk said.
Polk's sister plans on taking Polk's Market to Pooler in March, but he wasn't giving up on the tradition so easily.
"I thought I had a friend coming in here with me but he just couldn't put it together. We thought we could save it," he said. "I held off as long as I could thinking I could make it but when he bailed on me, I had to hang it up myself."
Loyal customers are still learning the bad news. Polk says you'll be able to find him at his daughter's market, at Davis Produce, on Highway 80 heading towards Tybee Island next to Shearhouse Lumber.
"You can find us there and I am going to miss everybody," he said. "Yeah. I'm going to miss it. It's my passion. Yeah, I do love it."