Save A Lot night supervisor Labrone Gordon, left, and Kelsey Veilleux, a cashier and bakery manager, will lose their jobs when the Waterville store closes Thursday. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

There’s one customer in particular at Save A Lot who night supervisor Labrone Gordon will really miss when the grocery store closes Thursday.

“She’s an elderly woman who’s 86 and reminds me of my dad,” he said. “I love that lady right to death. I don’t know what made me just love her like my mom. She’s real sweet.”

Gordon, 47, is one of several workers at the grocery store on The Concourse in downtown Waterville who will lose their jobs when it closes. It opened in 2012 but did not draw enough business to survive, according to CEO Zak Sclar.

Gordon and Kelsey Veilleux, a cashier and bakery manager, were waiting on customers who came in Wednesday to take advantage of a 25% off sale. Many of the shelves were empty, particularly in the fresh produce aisles, but the meat cooler was pretty full and there were still canned goods, ice cream, snack foods, paper products and other items yet to be purchased.

“Monday was 50% off and it was crazy,” Gordon said. “Tuesday we went down to 25%.”

Veilleux, 19, of Winslow, worked the cash register between doing other chores. She said she will miss her job, which she has had for three years.


“For me, it’s very sad. It’s my first job. The workers here, I’m going to miss them all. I even got my very first boyfriend here. He works here too.”

Veilleux, who graduated from Waterville Senior High School last year, said she is studying at the University of Maine at Augusta to be a veterinary technician and hopes to find a job in that field. But she feels terrible she won’t see her customers anymore.

“A lot of them come here every single day, especially the old people,” she said. “They’re so upset because they don’t have vehicles and now they’re going to be stranded because there are no grocery stores where they live. It’s going to hurt them really bad. I’m hoping that maybe another grocery store comes in here.”

Larry Horvath, 79, of Waterville, pushed a cart to the counter and plunked down two little boxes of peach pie, a $1.40 purchase.

Horvath said he and his wife moved to Waterville from Liberty four years ago when maintaining a home became too much. They regularly shop at Save A Lot, which has good prices, especially for drinks, and he is not happy it is closing, he said.

“The people here are very nice. They’ve been very helpful, especially if something is on the top shelf and I can’t reach it. They’ve always done the heavy lifting on some of the things I couldn’t do.”


Gordon, the night supervisor, who started working at the store in 2015, left after 3 1/2 years and then returned last fall. He said he has been scouting around for other jobs and has his eye on one in particular, as a car detailer at a business on College Avenue.

“I like cleaning cars, myself,” he said.

Other workers are looking for jobs, too, and some plan to collect unemployment for the time being, according to Gordon.

“I figure, why stand around and collect unemployment? I’m going back to work.”

He greeted customers animatedly, chatting with each.

“I’m always polite to the elderly,” he said. “I was raised to be respectful and treat people how I want to be treated. Treat them with respect and go out of the way to help them. A lot of them say how our employees are really nice.

“It’s going to hurt, closing the store down.”

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 35 years. Her columns appear here weekly. She is the author of the book “Comfort is an Old Barn,” a collection of her curated columns, published in 2023 by Islandport Press. She may be reached at For previous Reporting Aside columns go to

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story