Honoring the memory of Pay and Save …

In the heart of our beloved little town, a chapter of Forks’ history quietly closed its doors almost 20 years ago, and more recently another business attached also closed. Both left us without being properly acknowledged for their impact on the community. The Pay and Save Foods grocery store and Coffee Shop had been a cornerstone in our community for decades. The recent activity on that lot has stirred up memories and sentiments that have resonated with generations of Forks residents.

The Pay and Save grocery store has a storied history. Founded in 1948 by Russell Thomas, it started as a modest establishment, in a building that once housed the local Catholic Church. Over the years, the store grew not just in size, but in its significance to the community. It became more than just a place to shop; it became a gathering spot for friends to catch up and families to shop the aisles together.

The business expanded over the years and in 1966 owner Russ Thomas announced the purchase of a gas station across the street and the exciting addition of the coffee shop.

For many Forks’ residents, Pay and Save holds a special place in their hearts, evoking memories of cherished moments and interactions. Many had their first jobs there, it was a place to learn the value of hard work and build relationships that have lasted to this day.

Some of the memories shared …the stuffed monkey in produce, Sandy the horse, free kittens and puppies in a shopping cart, riding an elephant in the parking lot, hot cocoa after the fishing derby, fries and gravy, school time lunches, burger bonanza, huge pancakes, great waitresses, and so much more.

Beyond its role as a grocery store and place to eat, Pay and Save played a pivotal role in strengthening the sense of community in Forks.

Beyond the shelves of products and the aroma of coffee, Pay and Save functioned as a community hub. Its coffee shop was a melting pot of conversations, where locals discussed everything from town events to global news. The cozy chairs and tables bore witness to laughter, debates, and the forging of connections that could only happen in a close-knit town like Forks. Stories of fishing and logging once filled the air.

While Pay and Save may have closed its doors some time ago, its impact on Forks and its residents will live on. From the memories shared among friends and families to the values imparted to its employees.

As the building is reduced to bits of scrap it’s hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia and loss even though it was time for it to go. The familiar sights and sounds that defined the business are missed by all who remember it. Its passing into memory also serves as a reminder of the changing landscape of small-town America, where local businesses face unique challenges in ever-evolving times.

Christi Baron, Editor