Brazil community saves store from being shut down

Brazil Grocery & Cafe makes improvements thanks to volunteers

GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn. — The favorite lunch stop for locals in Brazil is busier than ever. But it was almost boarded up earlier this year.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 5.52.27 PMThe Brazil Grocery & Cafe owner was told to get in compliance with a new state regulation or be shut down.

“You have to have two bathrooms if you seat more than 16 people,” store owner Mary Christian said. “I was going to have to second mortgage something to get it.”

Christian said she was contemplating closing when her customers began raising money for parts and then volunteered to build the bathroom for free.

“Well, this is our hangout right here, I guess the last country store in this area, so we didn’t want to see it close,” customer Donald Hudson said.

“We appreciate them. We love every one of them,” said the owner’s sister, Nancy Whitten, who is also a server at the restaurant.  “‘Cause they come together and help this community down here.”

Jeff Dodd has lived in this area all his life and isn’t surprised the community came to the rescue.

“We went through a time that we didn’t have a store here,” Dodd said. “The store closed down, and it’s just kind of like the community lost something. So we’re going to try everything in the world to keep our store open.”

Thanks to the generosity of this community, the construction of the store’s new bathroom is under way — improvements that will ensure the store is open for years to come.

“They are still working on it, but we’re going to have a new one thanks to everyone in this community,” Christian said. “Like I said, you can’t beat these people here. They are some of the best.”

The owner expects the new bathroom will be complete in the next few months.

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