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Smulekoff's Closing After 125 Years

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- After 125 years in business, a name synonymous with Cedar Rapids is closing its doors.  Smulekoff's announced Tuesday morning that they would cease operations at the end of the year.
   The company cites plans to construct a flood wall on the east side of the Cedar River as the reason for the closure.
   "We at Smulekoff's want to express our thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been our friend and supporter over the years."  Said Ann Lipsky, president and great granddaughter of founder Henry Smulekoff.
   The company started in 1889 when Henry Smulekoff bought a store on Mays Island.  Lipsky says she was proud of the role her family had in the community.  "We treasure the role we have been able to play in the growth of this community, through challenges and triumphs from 1889 when we began as a small store on the island to our current three acre store."
   Lipsky says Smulekoff's will honor and process all existing orders.  Smulekoff's will be out of their current location no later than December 31st of this year.  That's when they will transfer ownership of the building to the city of Cedar Rapids as part of the flood buyout program.
   While Tuesday's news release does not indicate whether Smulekoff's will return somewhere else, there are currently no official plans to relocate the business elsewhere.
   A sign posted on Smulekoff's door Tuesday morning says the store will remain closed until August 30th at 10:00am.  The sign says workers are preparing for "the largest sale in our 125 year history."
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