By John Balch
McKnight’s Grocery in Delight will close the doors on a 37-year run Saturday, June 30 at 7 p.m.
The business has been a mainstay since it opened in 1981 under Raymond and Francis McKnight and son James “Macky” McKnight and his wife, Rheta.
The business was located on Delight’s main drag for the first 13 years before a new building was constructed in 1993 where it stands now.
“I guess it’s kind of my birthday present,” said “Macky” McKnight, whose birthday is Saturday.
The McKnight’s daughter, Celeste May, said in a Facebook post that her parents are about to embark on “their next phase of life” in which she said will be “bittersweet” but will result in more time for “them to enjoy every minute of life with each other, us and our kids.” “Macky” and Rheta have two children, Celeste and Jeff, and five grandchildren.
“We’re going to basically retire,” “Macky” said, “and spend time trying to live a different life for a change and not be tied down. If we want to take a road trip or run up to the lake, we can without having to check in at the store.”
A scrapbook is currently at the store and May is encouraging people to drop by a sign it and leave any memories or notes they feel appropriate about the business and its owners.
Not only was the store a place to shop, it has also served as a community hub. The upcoming closure has a group of elderly men concerned about where they will gather daily to drink coffee and solve the world’s problems.
“Macky” said he has fielded a couple of inquiries about reselling the building and possibly keeping it as a grocery store.
He joked that he might have to add a contract clause that allows for a place that the old men can still gather discuss and cuss the day’s events.
“We certainly want to thank everyone in the community and surrounding areas for their support all these years,” he added.