King Soopers neighboring businesses reopen, lean on each other after tragedy

Grocery Store Tragedy
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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Dozens of businesses near the King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive are trying to find a path back to normal business operations after the mass shooting tragedy that took 10 lives at the grocery store Monday.

“We buy our produce there every day. I don’t know how shopping centers usually are but this shopping center is a very small, close-knit community,” said Kara Garcia, co-owner of Abo’s Pizza South Boulder.

Garcia says their staff and customers had to take shelter in a back room as gunfire echoed through the shopping center. Thursday was her first day back at the shop since the shooting.

“It’s just so fresh and it changes everything. At the same time it makes us all come together too but it’s really hard. Especially knowing we’re all there every day, our customers are there all the time,” said Garcia.

In an effort to reach out to other neighboring stores, Garcia and her team brought pizzas to shop owners like Tina Petrulis, owner of Sweet Ruckus gift shop.

“That’s just the response from everyone — what can we do, how can we help?” said Petrulis.

The front window of Petrulis’ store now faces part of the crime scene. She says it’s a reminder of what happened every time she looks out, but her brightly colored shop is still bringing customers inside.

“People are all over the map. Some come in crying and wanting to hug me and to give a hug. It’s an interesting process for all of us and it’s been hard, you know? At the same time I want to provide a space for people to come feel like they can talk,” said Petrulis.

The memorial for the victims continues to grow outside of King Soopers. Even as they go back to business, Garcia says she hasn’t been able to bring herself over to the memorial yet.

“I haven’t been able to go down there. It’s just too much right now. It feels good just to be with my crew,” said Garcia.

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