AURORA - Another small-town Minnesota grocery store has closed.

Last week the only grocery store in Aurora on Minnesota's Iron Range closed its doors. The owners of Zup's Food Market shuttered the Aurora store after years of lagging sales and rising costs.

Jim Zupancich is one of a dozen co-owners of Zupancich Brothers Inc. Zupancich says that closing the Aurora store was "hard" and that the co-owners feel "like we've failed the community."

Small grocery stores have been closing across the state. Between 2000 and 2013, Greater Minnesota lost 14 percent of its grocery stores, according to the Center for Rural Policy and Development in Mankato.

Bruce Schwartau with the University of Minnesota Extension says competition from large retailers makes it difficult for small grocers to keep going.