Margaretta Wolf, who has owned Wolf's Grocery Store for a half-century, defied a masked man who entered the store Monday, demanding cash, WXOW-TV, La Crosse, reported.
"I said, 'I'm not opening up the cash register and that's it. You can have all the Tootsie Rolls you want but I am not opening that cash register," she said.
She continued to stand her ground, threatening to call police, after the would-be robber flashed a knife with 3-inch blade. He fled after he noticed the store's security camera, the television station said.
Police say they are looking for the suspect.