Ron Smith, owner of The Root Cellar, the small, sincere purveyor of local produce, cheese, pasture-raised meats, gourmet mushrooms and locally produced value-added products such as Weisenberger Mills grits, will close his business for good at the end of this year.

Despite having more than 5000 followers on Facebook, the foot traffic that would result in steady sales never materialized.

Smith started his business in Old Louisville, in the old service station building at the corner of Hill and Third Streets. He opened a second location in Germantown, in the Hope Mills building on the corner of Swan and Kentucky Streets, and then closed the Old Louisville location.

Smith started his business in 2011, after losing a position in the pharmaceutical industry. He was an enthusiastic home cook, and wanted to provide others with a source for top quality local ingredients. Provide such he did, but neither of his locations brought in the steady customer base such a business needs. And he was plagued with the range of problems that small vendors often face: equipment breakdowns, repairs to the building’s infrastructure, maintaining a visible presence in the market.

Smith would be happy to sell the business and provide a buyer with his hard-won wisdom about the operation, but lacking that, he will be discounting his inventory and selling back to his vendors what remains after Dec. 31.