Albion’s ‘Borowiak’s’ closes its doors, officials working on solution

Albion’s ‘Borowiak’s’ closes its doors, officials working on solution
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 10:45 PM CST
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ALBION, Ill. (WFIE) - The beginning of the new year came with a disappointing announcement to Edwards County residents.

Longtime grocery store Borowiak’s IGA was closing its doors for good.

“Those who are unable to drive outside of town, that will greatly limit their availability, or their ability to get the basic needs,” said President of the Albion Area Chamber of Commerce Jessica Gwaltney.

Borowiak’s IGA was the only grocery store left in Edwards County, which means people would have to drive to neighboring counties to get their needs in one big trip.

But in Albion, just across the street from Borowiak’s, business owners began to work together to try and mitigate the need.

“You know, if we can order a little bit extra on our bulk orders every week then maybe that will help,” said co-owner of Bailey’s Bistro Morgan Bailey.

Gwaltney says other stores in Albion have stepped up as well.

“The fact that they’ve stepped up to help fill those gaps is huge for our community,” Gwaltney said.

Bailey says the closing of Borowiak’s was sad to see.

“Small towns, not just like us, but other ones, we die,” Bailey said. “The businesses start to fade, family businesses that started 50/60 years ago start to lose over the generations.”

Residents of Albion that 14 News spoke to say they miss the grocery staple.

Casey’s gas station has decided to stock eggs and dairy products, and places like Bailey’s Bistro are supplying produce.

Now over two weeks following the closure of Borowiak’s, the chamber says there are talks in place, but nothing is guaranteed just yet.

“We do not have a solid plan in place yet, but we’d love to know if there is a need, we’re happy to help,” Gwaltney said.

Bailey hopes that when produce is in season at local farms, it will ease the load that restaurants have undertaken to help members of the community.

“Just remembering that we are capable of these things, especially in our small town because we just need each other to survive,” Bailey said.

14 News has been told by city officials that the building has been purchased by another buyer.

Officials were not at liberty to discuss the buyer of the space, but the items inside of the store are currently up for auction until Feb. 18.

Here are some resources in Albion for those looking for the essentials:

  • Bailey’s Bistro - Offering produce for purchase, such as lettuce, onions, apples, and other fruits and vegetables. Also, these things are available for delivery through their online website.
  • Casey’s Gas Station - Offering dairy products and eggs.
  • Country Home Processing - Has meat for sale, such as sausage and other needs.
  • West Salem Village Cafe (West Salem, IL) - Offering fresh produce as well.
  • Rides Mass Transit - Bus service available to senior citizens.
  • The Albion Area Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page also posts places to get necessities.