Cleveland’s Little Debbie discount store has been in the community for more than 20 years, according to McKee Foods communications and public relations manager Mike Gloekler.
“The Cleveland store is one of three in operation. We don’t have that kind of secondhand inventory anymore,” Gloekler said. “We hate to see it close, but it just makes good business sense.”
The store has seen many repeat customers over the years, some whose trips span its entire existence. One such customer is Nena George.
“I’ve been here this week three times,” George said Friday. “I’m very disappointed that they are closing ... I’m going to miss it.”
She said her favorite Little Debbie snack is the honey bun, but she also came to the store for Danishes and Jewish rye bread.
Customer Brenda Mikel has shopped at the discount store since the 1990s.
“I hate the store is closing. I love to come here,” Mikel said.
Her favorite snack from the store is fudge rounds and Nutty Bars. She also purchased Danishes and brownies from the store.
The decrease in discounted inventory comes from increased efficiency at the plant, according to Gloekler.
This efficiency limits the amount of excess and damaged inventory used to stock the discount stores.
The stores in Hixson and Collegedale will remain open.
Gloekler said he hopes Cleveland residents will go to the Collegedale store after the local one closes.
“The Collegedale store has a larger, (more) diverse inventory anyway,” Gloekler said.
Near the Little Debbie plant, the Collegedale store carries not only Little Debbie snacks, but also discounted cereals and breads offered by McKee Foods.
The local store had only one McKee Foods employee. The rest of the staff were temporary employees.
Gloekler said the McKee employee has accepted a position at the Collegedale store.