Save A Lot exterior

The owner of the former Save-A-Lot put this banner outside his store and got rid of a sign referencing IGA. Now, that sign is gone and the place is closed.

The owner of the Homosassa Save-A-Lot took down his signage this week because he is no longer affiliated with that grocery store chain.

And then Roy Seepersaud put up a banner that reads: Suncoast Marketplace IGA.

The only problem: his store inside Homosassa Square off U.S. 19 is not an IGA. Seepersaud is still working though the legal maze of disentangling himself from Save-A-Lot.

Aware of that, Seepersaud has since marked out the words IGA.

The sign, he said, was put up prematurely and he knows he cannot legally use the name.

But Seepersaud has made no secret he wants to become an independent IGA food store, similar to the one in Inglis. 

“We are not an IGA yet,” he said. “We are independent at this point and are leaning at some point being an IGA.”

Seepersaud is also appealing to local and state government officials to help him out, perhaps with low-interest loans, to help get him back on his feet and serve the community and keep his 12 employees.

“We are really struggling at this point,” he said.

Two years ago, he put $700,000 of his own money into the venture, his first time at grocery ownership.

“The store expectations never panned out,” he said.

When Hurricane Irma swept through the county shortly after he opened in August 2017, it and caused a power outage of six days, he said. It ended up costing $200,000 after insurance because much of the frozen meat had to be thrown out, he said.

The U.S. 19 widening in front of his store has also drained customers, he said.

In the meantime, Seepersaud said he is buying groceries from independent suppliers and trying to keep the shelves stocked.

“I’ve operated other businesses and have been successful,” he said. “But this one is draining money right, left and center.”

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.

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