It's hard to be a small town grocer these days, so I figured the death clock was ticking on IGA when I heard Winco was opening.  I don't know what, if anything, that had to do with the closing, but it's definitely another business taking another piece of the pie.

IGA was actually my store of choice.  Don't get me wrong, it's not the only place I shop, but it's where I shop the most and here are the reasons:

1.  Not Crowded

That's definitely not a good thing for a business, but the fact is if I were shopping after 7 p.m. (which is the norm for my schedule), there would typically be less than five other people in the store.

2. Friendly People

The staff at IGA has always had the "Smalltown feel" that I appreciate.  I suppose because I grew up shopping at a store about the same size and it just feels right to me.  Everyone was always helpful and friendly (and still are...remember, there's still a couple weeks left)

3. The Deli

This is the big one for me.  I don't know of any other place in Billings where you could get a normal (non fast food) meal for about 6 bucks including a drink.  The food tasted like your basic old-school cafeteria food which was perfect for me.  I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a decent substitute, but I'm pretty sure that experience will die with the IGA.

To the employees, thanks for all the smiles and helpfulness over the years.  I wish you well in whatever your new jobs will be.