Moo and Oink grocery store chain may close

August 10, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Moo and Oink has three stores in Chicago and is well known for its ribs and other meats. But it may be falling victim to the country's struggling economy.

A typical trip to the Moo and Oink might be for chicken or ribs. But, inevitably, regulars to the grocery store get more.

"You see everyone you know, some you haven't seen in a while, so it's like a neighborhood tradition to go to Moo and Oink," said customer Brenda Mathes.

Moo and Oink stores started as Calumet Meats in the 1940s.

But the Moo and Oink named caught on. Chicagoans may remember some of their commercials with a dancing cow and pig.

Reported financial trouble for the company may cause the stores to close.

"People won't have nowhere to go get their meats," said Betty Lockett, "because this is the best place to buy meats, Moo and Oink."

"This is one of the large store you can shop at and it's convenient. It would be a tragedy if it closed up," said Nolan Brewster.

Employees -- who did not want to be interviewed -- told ABC7 they have not been notified about the possibility of closing. Some said that management at the store hasn't been fully informed about the situation.

At the headquarters, on 40th Street, no one would comment on the reported closings.

Food supplier George Loulousis says he has been supplying products to Moo and Oink stores for 30 years.

"It's part of the city and it means a great deal to a lot of people, so I hope everything works out well," said Loulousis.

Employees and loyal customers hope another company will step in or an investor will step up to keep the Moo and Oinks open.

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