“…lean times further down the road.” : U.S. Food Crisis, November 2016

 Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of November, 2016: Many food suppliers/distributors are consolidating operations and killing jobs due to the collapsing grocery store and restaurant industries, as well as rising costs of food production, spread of disease and extreme weather.

Expect anything made with soy to go up in price.  Commodity prices for soybeans hit a four month high due to skyrocketing use of the bean in fuel production, and you can blame that on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordering an increase in bio-fuel production for 2017.

As Agriculture.com reports, another reason for soybean prices skyrocketing could be because farmers have been hoarding soy and corn, refusing to sell at low prices.  But hoarding is resulting in so much grain in storage that there is now nowhere to put this year’s harvests!

California: The maker of food coolers for retailers, KPS Global, issued a shutdown WARN for their ops in Chino, 78 jobs gone by mid-January 2017.  Switzerland based Nestlé issued a layoff WARN for their Modesto ops, 78 people jobless the day before Xmas.  In Redwood City, FoodCo issued a shutdown WARN, 69 jobs gone after Xmas.  In Los Angeles, Norm’s Restaurant issued a shutdown WARN, 73 jobs lost the day after Xmas.  In Oxnard, Harbor View Farms laying off 97 people after Xmas.  In San Diego, Carnitas Snack Shack shutdown their two years old Del Mar Highlands Town Center restaurant due to lack of sales.  Also in San Diego, S&M Sausage & Meat restaurant shutdown after two years of protests by vegans! Indio, after ten years the Super Target (which sells groceries) shutting down by the end of January 2017, 130 jobs lost!  Local news reports say city administrators are now bending over backwards offering Target taxpayer funded incentives to keep the store open. The Hungry Cat shutting down their Santa Barbara location due to the “current economic climate”. In Oakland, “pioneering” yet struggling restaurant Ozumo shutdown, one of the co-owners lamented “Little did we know of the hard times that greeted us when we opened in December 2008, nor of lean times further down the road.”

Colorado: Broomfield based Noodles & Company warning that it must shutdown about 45 restaurants due to a negative cash flow of $2.6-million USD in their 3rd quarter of 2016!

Florida: Level1-Spice Modern Steakhouse bankrupt busted for the fourth time!  The Smiling Bison shutting down their popular Orlando location after Xmas, due to “many circumstances well beyond our control”.  Switzerland based Nestlé  shutting down its Professional food service office in Tampa, 77 jobs gone by May 2017.  In Jacksonville, Reinhart Foodservice issued a WARN, 66 jobs gone by the end of March 2017.

Georgia: In Macon, restaurant Twang shutdown after less than four years, the co-owners say they’re too busy with other things and it wasn’t worth it to renew the lease.

Idaho: In Twin Falls, popular Kona Coffee & Cakes shutdown due to “other circumstances”.  The not-so-‘elected’ leaders of Idaho continue using taxpayer funding to look for new agricultural markets, this year they’re sending University of Idaho’s Dean of Agriculture to China. According to Capital Press, 20% of state legislatures are directly connected to farming/ranching.  The state Department of Agriculture is conducting classes for farmers regarding new federal rules for farm labor: “There’s too much information to absorb in two hours, and they’re doing their best to comply with this.”-Luis Urias

Illinois: After 83 years the Drake Hotel’s Cape Cod Room shutting down on New Year’s Day, due to property re-development.  The Chicago Grill on the Alley issued a shutdown WARN, 44 jobs gone after Xmas.

Kentucky: Kroger shutdown their Shively’s Southland Terrace store right after Thanksgiving.  Kroger claims the 108 employees were offered jobs at another Kroger grocery store.

Louisiana: In Algiers Point, after eight years Vine & Dine shutdown, the co-owners claim they’ll be back with something new.

Michigan:  Battle Creek based food giant Kellogg Company pulling its ads on pro-Trump website Breitbart, saying they suddenly consider the website guilty of ‘hate speech’.  In Dearborn Heights, Moo Cluck Moo shutdown after less than four years. The owners of Moo Cluck Moo were known for paying its restaurant employees $12 per hour, perhaps that was too much?  Plumb’s shutdown their grocery stores in Newaygo and Norton Shores, on the same weekend.  The 70 employees were given less than seven days notice.  Plumb’s administrators have yet to explain the sudden shutdowns.  A 38 years old Pizza Hut in Bay City shutdown without warning, or reason.  Local news media says the restaurant manager was not told why it was being shutdown.

Minnesota:  In Minneapolis, after nine years Saffron Restaurant & Lounge shutting down in December, the co-owners claim they’ll be back with something new.

Nevada: In Reno, Buffalo Wild Wings suddenly shutdown their Summit Sierra Mall restaurant, employees told local news media that the company couldn’t afford a new lease.

New Jersey: In Paramus, cooking supply store Chef Central shutting down on New Year’s Day due to competition and jacked up rent.

New Mexico: Colorado based Intrepid Potash warned that 57 Carlsbad miners will be laid off after Xmas, due to “We created more inventory [fertilizer] than we were able to sell.”

New York: In Moravia, after more than 50 years John’s Grocery shutdown due to the death of the owner.  In Watkins Glen, 50 years old Mister Chicken shutting down due to the owner’s health problems.  Morrison Community Living at Genesee County Nursing Home now for sale, 46 contracted food service employees notified of pending job losses due to sale.

North Carolina: In Raleigh, after 12 years Cafe Helios shutdown, the owners claim “something new” will take its place.

Ohio: Carnival Foods shutting down its three grocery stores once inventory is gone, saying “… the economic conditions in the area and competition make it clear that small grocery stores are becoming a thing of the past.”  In Girard, after 75 years Santisi’s IGA grocery store shutting down due to sales not covering operating costs. In Springboro, frozen yogurt shop Orange Leaf shutting down before Xmas, the owner told local news media the decision was personal.

Pennsylvania:  Mexico based Bimbo Bakeries issued a WARN for their Sunbury bakery, 67 people jobless by the end of January 2017.  In Spring Brook, decades old Barrel Family Restaurant shutting down unless a buyer who wants to keep it open can be found. In Linden, after almost 40 years the original Mountain View Deli and Samurai Subs shutdown.  Local news reports say at one time their were three Mountain View Deli and Samurai Subs.

South Carolina: In Charleston, after 24 years Wild Wing Cafe shutdown due to the greedy property owner selling out to a hotel developer.

Texas: In Amarillo, it was revealed that Baker Brothers American Deli shutdown their Wolflin Square store last month.  The owners admitted it was a way of increasing sales at their other locations.  In Austin, Doc’s Motorworks Bar & Grill shutting down its 11 years old South Congress location due to property re-development.

Virginia: In Carytown, C Street Restaurant shutdown two years after being expanded to hold more customers. Shoney’s shutdown its 40 years old Dumbarton Square restaurant, employees told local news media that sales crashed when the next door Martin’s grocery store shutdown.  In Charlottesville, after 47 years Spudnut Coffee Shop shutting down after Xmas, the owners refused to comment to local news media.  In Woodbridge, Glory Days Grill shutting down right before Xmas, after 20 years of eats: “…we made the very difficult decision not to renew our lease at Smoketown Plaza due to the substantial financial constraints involved in renovating this location….”

Washington: In Seattle, after more than 1-hundred years the Shanty Cafe shutdown, the owners sold the building saying they “needed a break”.  Seattle based Starbucks raised prices on cold drinks and bakery items, some prices went up by as much as 30 cents.  This follows a price increase in July.

Washington DC: Hellbender Brewery chapter 11 bankrupt busted saying “We’re dealing with some issues that go beyond financial issues that need to be taken care of.”

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification