Gramling's closing after 104 years in business

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 31, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A Tallahassee establishment is shutting down after 104 years in business.

Gramling's, located on South Adams Street, is closing.

"This place is a physical representation of so many memories," said employee Caleb Thomas.

Gramling's opened in 1915 at a different location. The current store dates back to 1925.

"Mainly because it had the railroad spur, and everything came in by rail."

Stan Gramling is the current owner; he grew up at the store, learning from his father and uncle. He started working there when he was a sophomore at Leon High School.

His grandfather, O.I. Gramling Sr. ran the store until the 1950s, and his father and uncle ran the store until the 1980s.

"Quite a few families that were supported by this store over the years," said Gramling.

Although the location by the railroad tracks was opportune in 1925, it has become a problem in 2019.

"A lot of people don't particularly want to come through the traffic here," said Gramling. "We have some loyal customers that have been with us forever and still come here regularly and just aren't going anywhere else, and I love them for it. There's just not quite enough sales to make ends meet to support the business."

Many agriculture businesses who purchase from Gramling's are working to cut their bottom lines, and are not able to spend the time and money to get to that area anymore.

The store's demise also comes from changing shopping habits, such as purchasing at big box stores.

"You started getting internet and catalog sales, every little bit cut in a little bit," said Gramling.

It is not just customers who have a soft spot for the old store; employees do as well.

"I was in the middle of a really deep representation; I was having a hard time," said Caleb Thomas. "Stan he saw what was going on, and he gave me a place and gave me space to work through it."

Stan Gramling said the lessons from the store and his family will stick with him.

"Having my uncle, O.I. Jr., down here to mentor me and teach me the way to do business, you know, the way to treat people fairly," said Gramling. "I've always tried to do that."

Gramling's is holding a farewell party on June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with live music by Stan Gramling.

The store's last official day will be June 29.