To the Editor:
I was shocked and offended when I read Claude Deaton’s statements concerning the previous owner of the grocery store on Liberty Street. He stated that “the guy left because there wasn’t enough business and he did not run it right!” I am the daughter of “that guy” Loren “Judge” Roberts and that is far from being accurate. I would like the opportunity to tell the true story.
My grandparents (Clarence and Nannie B. Roberts) and my parents (Judge and Lucille Roberts) had been in the grocery business since at least the early 1930s. The store was on Ferry Street in what is now part of Danner’s Hardware. As the business continued to grow, my Father and Mother bought the building on Liberty Street and opened Roberts Supermarket.
Owning an independent grocery store is a labor of love and a family affair. My three sisters and I started working in the store at an early age doing various jobs. We knew we had made it when we were promoted to the “checker” position. Because of this upbringing we all have a very good work ethic today.
My Father was a smart and innovative business man. Because of this, he made a good living for our family. He and his friends and fellow business owners, Joe Ricketts, Elmer Smith, Raymond Osborn, Jr., ad John Middleton were always looking for ways to promote Vevay and Switzerland County. Anyone who owns their own business will tell you that it is a 24/7 job. Even when you are not there you are always thinking about it.
Even though the grocery business provided a good life for my family, selling the “store” was the smartest thing my parents ever did. After being in the grocery business for over 30 years it was time for them to move on. So in 1967, having raised all but one of their daughters, they decided to sell the store and our beautiful home on Market Street and move to Louisville, Kentucky. Over the next 10 years they learned to Square Dance and Ball Room Dance. They bought a motor home and traveled all over the country with the many new friends they had made. In fact, my Father passed away on July 24th, 1977, while he and my Mother were Square Dancing with friends at “My Old Kentucky Home,” – enjoying what they loved to do.
The fact is, my parents moved on not because there wasn’t enough business, or because they didn’t know how to run the store, they moved on because it was time to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Thank you for letting me set the record straight.
Judy Roberts Ellegood