'This building has a lot of history'
Jack's Fast Food in south Superior is closing its doors Nov. 30. The faded blue and red storefront will no longer illuminate with gas prices. The neon beer signs hanging in the windows will stop humming.
Heidi Maciejeski, daughter of owner Tom Lundgren, is the store's manager. The store has been in the family since 1972.
"These last couple of weeks definitely sunk in. We are cutting back on orders and just to see things empty out — this is my livelihood," Maciejeski said.
For a while, the fear of not knowing when they would close loomed over her. She said she was relieved after her father, Tom, made the decision.
The business has been at the Tower Avenue location since 1965. It started as Mel's Tower Spur for the first seven years, owned by Melvin Lundgren. Jack Lundgren took over the business with his brother, Tom.
Jack died in 2014. Tom Lundgren made the decision to close it.
"I didn't want to close it this way," Tom Lundgren said. "It's just something we had to do because business is slowing down."
With seven Kwik Trip convenience stores in town, it is hard to compete. Gas prices are on the rise and offering deals to customers while making a profit is challenging, according to Maciejeski.
"This building as a lot of history," she said. "You can't forget about your mom-and-pop stores."
Being in the family business since she was a little kid, she's felt like her roots are planted in Superior.
"I've met so many walks of life all these years. It's just been wonderful," Maciejeski said. "My family is very sad, but it will be a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other type of deal. We'll just keep moving on."
Craig Sutherland, small business owner and city councilor, said he's upset another business has to shut its doors to a loving community. He remains optimistic for the city.
"Our community is strong enough where when one business closes, one or two will open up," Sutherland said.
Maciejeski isn't sure what's next.
"I've been in the family business for so long," Maciejeski said. "It's like I don't know what I want to be when I grow up."
For customers, Lundgren is sure they'll find a new place to pump gas.
"They understood, but it's out of my control now," Lundgren said.
The customers at Jack's know everyone, and employees know everyone who comes in. If they don't know you, they'll learn who you are.
"Many people have learned how to pump gas here. These longtime customers will have to find a new place to pump," Maciejeski said.
"We just want to encourage our customers to continue to support local," she said. "When you support local, you're supporting a dream."