Bessemer Curb Market fights to stay open

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Harold Powell, the owner of Bessemer Curb Market, in front of his curb market, Friday, May 1, 2015, in Greensboro, N.C. Harold Powell, owner of Bessemer Curb Market, in business for more than 63 years, said he may have to close soon. The nearby Walmart has hurt his business, and he says people just don't cook like they used to. He thinks he could attract more customers if he was able to spruce up the building more. He's asked the city for help in the form of a grant or something similar but has not been successful. JERRY WOLFORD/News & Record

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It looks more like a farmers market stand than a grocery store.

Outside the Bessemer Curb Market, there are barrels of apples, oranges and huge tomatoes. Yellow squash, corn, collards, turnip and mustard greens greet you just inside the door. And just a short walk down one of the aisles awaits butcher Fred Kimber, ready to cut you a nice slice of hog jowl.

Meat and produce are this market’s specialty. But owner Harold Powell isn’t selling it like he used to. He said competition from the nearby Wal-Mart, as well as an aging building that limits what he can sell and a generation less interested in cooking are all hurting his store, which has been open for more than 60 years.

“Honestly, it’s sort of day-by-day,” the 68-year-old Powell said last week. “If things don’t change, we may have to close our doors.”

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