Sun Prairie's Sentry Food store, a community fixture for more than 67 years, will close its doors at 1052 W. Main later this year, according to information provided to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

According to the filing with the state, 96 employees will be impacted when the store closes at the end of September or early October, with lay-offs of employees anticipated to begin as soon as Sept. 10.

Mayor John Murray said the closure was not welcome news in Sun Prairie.

"I was saddened to hear of yesterday’s announcement of Sentry closing in Sun Prairie. I am sure that this decision was a very difficult one for the Conrad-Pederson family," the mayor said.

"Their employees were always the friendliest around, and their level of service was unmatched. Sentry has always been a great supporter of Sun Prairie, and for that I am very grateful they have been such a big part of the community over the years," Murray added.

"Our role moving forward will be ensuring affected employees have whatever resources they need to find new employment, assisting in finding another user for that location, and expressing our gratitude for all their years of doing business in Sun Prairie," the mayor said.

Tim Metcalfe, whose family has owned Sentry Foods markets for decades, offered comments lamenting the store's closure.

"We have the utmost respect for the entire Conrad family. Penny, Terry, their son Nate have lead the company for years after Penny's father, the late Joe Conrad, retired years ago. They all are truly respected leaders within grocery industry and their entrepreneurial spirit will be greatly missed," said Metcalfe, who is president of Metcalfe's Markets.

"Our late fathers were very close personal friends. On behalf of the Metcalfe family and all of the Sentry affiliated retailers across the state, we want to thank the Conrad family for their lasting legacy on all of us," Metcalfe added. "We applaud your rich service to your employees, your customers and the Sun Prairie community, godspeed."

An e-mail seeking comment from the Pederson family was not answered as of Friday, July 12 at 4 p.m., when the first version of this story was posted.

Keep checking back to The Star's website for more information as this story develops.

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