Wearing of the green a blue day at Market

Poulsbo Market readies for its last day, liquidation.

POULSBO — One week from today, Poulsbo Market will close its doors forever.

And while the move has been expected for some time, manager Al Moore said the last few months have been like watching the store slowly die as shelves have emptied and whole sections have been closed down. He said most employees are past being sad and ready to get on to the next phase.

“I believe everything is going as well as it can be going,” Moore said. “Obviously, you don’t have practice for this sort of thing.”

At 6 p.m. March 17, Poulsbo Market’s 30 years in the Poulsbo Community will end. The shopping center has been known over the years as Viking Mark-It Foods, Poulsbo Market Place, Poulsbo Market Thriftway and finally as T&C Poulsbo Market. But it’s also been known as a center for community activity and a store that gained itself a loyal following. This is evidenced by the large groups of shoppers and lunch-time gatherings still taking place one week from the final day.

“Because the store is looking like it’s closing down the volume is down considerably, but there’s still die-hard customers who continue to shop here and we appreciate that,” T&C President Larry Nakata commented.

But those stalwart customers should also note that the store will be closed to the public March 14. The one-day closure will be to make way for the store’s liquidation sale, which will take place March 15-17.

“We’re going to be consolidating shelves and just getting ready for the last day,” Moore said of the closure on March 14.

By law, the liquidation sale will exclude beer and wine. It is also limited to the small stock still on hand.

“And no rain checks,” Nakata joked.

While T&C is getting rid of its material goods at Poulsbo Market, Nakata said he’s pleased to have been able to hold onto some of the most valuable assets — the people. The closure was announced internally in July 2003 and at the time Poulsbo Market had 60 employees. When the decision was made public in November, Nakata said T & C would do its best to keep all of the displaced employees.

To date, only eight Poulsbo Market workers will not be staying on with T&C.

“We never want to let one person go but we’re very pleased that through the efforts of all three of our stores on this side, that we’ve been able to hold onto so many people,” Nakata said.

Moore, who has been at Poulsbo Market for all of his 22-years with T&C, is one of the employees staying on. He will be joining the crew at Central Market as the beer and wine section manager, a job that he had been performing at Poulsbo Market recently.

Moore said he sees great potential to transfer some of the more popular aspects of Poulsbo Market over to its sister store. While some customers prefer a smaller store, he said that he’s urged loyal shoppers to try Central Market out a few times, especially since they’ll see some familiar faces around the store.

“What I tell people is the only thing we can’t change about Central is the size,” Moore commented.