STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-A piece of real estate, that was once home to a famous Big Star Supermarket, has been purchased by the Greenwood-based Bank of Commerce. For some, the Big Star was not just another business. At the well known corner of Russell and Spring Streets in the Needmore Community of Starkville, contractors are tearing down to make way for a new bank.
“The demolition is going on now. They’re trying to get the concrete out of the way, out of the parking lot. And hopefully the building will come down next week. They are still working on plans, drawing plans for us to get our bank building to start construction hopefully in the spring,” said Brian Jones, Bank President.
“The day I went by there and the equipment was there and the next day I came back by at lunch and it was a little emotional. You know seeing things being taken apart but it okay. Its time for something else to be put there,” said Steve Corhern, Starkville Resident.
Corhern’s grandmother owned a grocery store on that very spot before the big war. Her son Hunter Corhern later took over the business.
“Of course when I think I was five we built the Big Star store. It was a small family owned store and in 59 we built a Big Star and then again in 69 we just about doubled the size of it,” said Corhern.
Big Star closed in 1985, at the location there was once a furniture outlet, thrift store, and even a Palmer Home For Children. And now just the thought of something else being there is tugging at the heart strings of many.
“My mother would fill up her cart with groceries and I’d get my first ride from the grocery store to the car. Lot of good memories here. You don’t see that anymore,” said Ralph Harris, Starkville Resident.
So while the old is being pushed aside, making way for the new, what remains are the precious moments when a small neighborhood business forever connected the lives of so many people.
“I worked with my mom and dad you know all my life like I say when I was five I’d go up there and fill up the old drink box and clean out eh coke caps and, you know that was fun. Lot of good memories,” added Corhern.
“I remember when my grandmother had some knee surgery and she’d call Mr. Corhern and she put a request in for the groceries that she needed. And he would show up about 30 minutes later with a sack full of groceries for her. You don’t see home visits by grocery stores anymore. Mr. Corhern took care of his customers that way,” said Harris.
The Bank of Commerce is expected to be a full service bank complete with a drive thru and should be opening by late 2014.