By Staff

WATERTOWN (CBS) — After more than a century, a beloved Watertown grocery store is closing. The owner of Russo’s posted a message online Sunday announcing Tony Russo’s retirement.

The business will officially close this fall.

“Every time I come is a special time because there is something new and it’s always good,” a shopper told WBZ on Monday. “It’s not just a town staple. People from all over come here.”

It started as a small farm in Watertown more than 100 years ago. Tony Russo has worked for his family business for more than 70 years.

“If you stand here long enough, you’ll see all different people from all different cultures because they have all that,” another loyal shopper said.

More than 1,000 people have commented or shared the store’s Facebook post.

“Tony has treasured watching generations of families shopping together as they choose their first spring vegetable plants, or the first local apples of the season and as they shop for Christmas trees (with classical music playing in the background, of course),” Russo’s said on Facebook.

Ilcia Molina has worked at Russo’s since she was 18. She says the staff just learned about Tony’s plans to retire and while they’re sad to see the store close, they are happy Tony will get some time to relax.

“For all of us we know this is what’s best for Tony and we’re excited,” Molina said. Staff