“every month it’s lower and lower.”: U.S. food crisis, June 2017

Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of June, 2017: 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.

Alabama: In Maylene, after 27 years Fox Valley Restaurant shutdown with the owner saying “I’m ready to do something else.”

Arizona: Red Robin shutting down its 30 years old Tucson Mall burger joint, saying it wasn’t worth it to renew the lease.  BZ’s Pizza Company shutdown blaming Tucson’s declining economy: “… we lost about $20-thousand in revenues per month right off the bat after Safeway closed. And then every month it’s lower and lower.”-Mike Sorell, co-owner

California: In Glendale, Switzerland based chocolatier Nestlé issued a shutdown WARN, 565 jobs lost in August!  Chocolatier and pet-food maker Mars Foods issued a shutdown WARN for its ops in Rancho Dominguez, 63 jobs lost by the end of August.   ‘Organic’ Suzie’s Farm shutdown its eight years old San Diego operations due to losing “five figures a week.”  In Redding, after 42 years Angelo’s Pizza Parlor shutdown with only three days notice, the snobby-paranoid owner blamed it on an increase in homeless people hanging around!   Donald Trump hating, Seventh Day Adventist founded Kellogg Company (Kellogg’s) shutting down its sales office in Roseville, 230 jobs gone by August!  In Arcata, after 52 years popular V&N Burger Bar being sold-off, the owner moving to Oregon.  Italy based food service contractor HMSHost issued a shutdown WARN for operations in Los Angeles, 82 jobs lost by mid-August.  A&R Wholesale Distributors shutting down its food distribution ops in Anaheim, 106 jobs gone by August!  In San Francisco, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar eliminating 83 jobs due to a temporary shutdown.  In San Jose the oldest restaurant in town, Wing’s Chinese, shutting down after 92 years “…due to our inability to generate sufficient business profits to sign a new lease with tremendously high rent per month.” 

Connecticut: Shop Rite shutting down its West Haven grocery store, 148 employees unemployed by the end of July!  The unionized employees said they were not involved with the decision to shut it down.  France based foodservice contractor Sodexo suddenly halted operations in Shelton, 54 jobs gone.

Florida: In Winter Spring, after two years Bavaro’s Napoletana & Pastaria shutdown due to the landlord/property owner selling the property.  In Miami, after 17 years upscale “fine dining” Azul shutdown due to increased competition.  France based food service contractor Sodexo eliminating 65 jobs by the end of July.  In Gainesville, Morrison Healthcare eliminating 45 food service jobs by the end of August.  In Palm Beach, after nine years Nick & Johnnie’s shutdown due to property developers.  In Jacksonville, Cozy Tea suddenly shutdown “due to a massive rent hike.”  Kosta’s Pizza Italian shutdown after 41 years, due to family health problems.  In Lake Buena Vista, Levy Restaurants eliminating 193 jobs in August!  Square 1 Burgers now chapter 11 bankrupt busted blaming market saturation (skyrocketing competition).

Illinois: Walmart’s Sam’s Club issued a shutdown WARN for its Woodridge location, 158 jobs lost by the end of September! Schuette’s Market shutting down its store in Highland, due to the sale of the building.   Peerless Potato Chips shutting down after 89 years of snacking goodness. Despite surviving The Great Depression the owners say they can’t survive this so called recovery: “We can no longer pay our suppliers so can no longer produce. The Central Grocer’s bankruptcy was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Indiana:  Little Creek Winery shutdown due to the owners’ ongoing health problems.  26 Marsh Supermarkets are now under new ownership, the remaining 18 unsold Marsh Supermarkets/O’Malia’s Food Market stores now being shutdown. 

Kansas: Akin’s Natural Foods suddenly shutdown its 20 years old store in Topeka, blaming crashing sales caused by increasing competition.

Kentucky: Zeggz Amazing Eggs suddenly shutdown its full-service Louisville restaurant as part of its plan to shift focus on smaller ‘quickie’ joints.  Texas Roadhouse shutting down one of its restaurants in Louisville, it suddenly is listed as “for lease”, local news media say no reason has been given.

Louisiana: Planters Rice Mill suddenly laid off 26 people blaming declining sales and declining supply of ‘rough’ rice.

Maryland:  Kilted Kilt Pub & Eatery shutdown its Westfield Annapolis Mall location after being sued by just about everybody for unpaid debts/rents/utilities, etc.  Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que suddenly shutdown its Annapolis Restaurant Park location as part of the company’s plan to address crashing sales nationwide.  In Bel Air, Stone’s Cove Kitbar suddenly shutdown after only one year, due to the parent company going chapter 7 bankrupt dead!  After going bankrupt twice in two years restaurant Langermann’s finally died.

Massachusetts:  Boston based Sunset Partners (Sunset Grill, Sunset Cantina) now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, restaurants could be seized by government for failure to pay taxes. In West Springfield, after 83 years restaurant Monte Carlo shutdown so the owners could retire.

Mississippi: In Jackson, Save-A-Lot shutdown a grocery store on Nakoma Drive in order “to operate more efficiently in a competitive retail environment.”

Montana: In Great Falls, restaurant Umami suddenly shutdown, the owners gave no reason but said “after many sleepless nights and a very tough decision we have decided to close Umami for good.”

New Hampshire: After 76 years convenience store/take-out restaurant Hill Village Store being sold-off due to crashing sales.

New Jersey: In Atlantic City, after 159 years Chelsea Pub & Inn suddenly shutdown, with no warning for the employees, it’s being vaguely blamed on “difficult circumstances.”   Donald Trump hating, Seventh Day Adventist founded Kellogg Company (Kellogg’s) shutting down operations in Cranbury, 316 jobs gone by the end of July!  In Voorhees, foodservice company Compass Group-FLIK eliminating 101 jobs by mid-August!

New York: In Troy, popular The Flying Chicken shutdown after five years due to the greedy landlord.  Staten Island-NYC based ‘soup nazi’ Soupman restaurant chain chapter 11 bankrupt busted after the company’s CFO was charged with tax fraud. In Brooklyn-NYC, after three years ice cream shop Brooklyn Bell’s shutdown, the owners are “moving on”.  Elitist Elmwood Country Club being sold-off, 76 jobs lost by the end of September.

North Carolina:  In Charlotte, after 14 years Blue Restaurant suddenly shutdown after being suddenly sold-off.  No reason for the sale was given.

Pennsylvania: Ahart’s Market announced it will shutdown Phillipsburg’s only ‘full size’ grocery store at the end of July, 33 jobs lost due to long-term dispute with the greedy landlord.  In Bryn Mawr, after 40 years Erin Pub shutting down, and Maloney’s Pub also shutting down.  The owners of Maloney’s blamed “….certain circumstances and certain groups have created a situation that has made remaining open increasingly difficult.”  Booze distributor W & L Sales issued a shutdown WARN for its Harrisburg ops, 104 jobs gone by August!  In Ardmore, Barbacoa shutdown without warning after five years of BBQ, the owners saying only “We are going to take a little break…”.  After only five years Lancaster based Earth Pride Organics now chapter 11 bankrupt busted.  After 32 years upscale eatery Rembrandt’s shutting down due to being sold-off.  In Philadelphia, after 51 years Jacks Deli shutdown due to crashing sales, co-owner Eddie Mutchnick said in its heyday Jacks Deli had “Lines out the door constantly, it was a never-ending situation and it was a beautiful situation.”  Walmart’s Sam’s Club issued a shutdown WARN for its Exton location, 126 jobs lost by the end of September!  Illinois based food producer ConAgra eliminating the third shift at its food factory in Milton, 150 jobs gone over the next few months!

Tennessee: In Knoxville, after less than three years GruJo’s German Restaurant suddenly shutdown “due to family reasons”.  ‘Famous’ 96 years old (surviving The Great Depression) Jim’s Place Restaurant & Bar now chapter 7 bankrupt busted with $1.4-million USD of debts.

Texas:  Bankrupt Ignite Restaurant Group (Joe’s Crab Shack/Brick House Tavern & Tap) suddenly laid off 87 people at its corporate HQ in Houston.  In Port Arthur, after 58 years Nick’s Grocery shutting down when the inventory is gone, because the owners “are tired”.  In San Antonio, restaurant Timbo’s shutdown, local news media blamed “…rising taxes and permits, the cost of doing business is too much for the small mom and pop shop. In May, they were served with 90 days’ notice to vacate…”

Vermont: Coffee products maker Keurig continues killing jobs, this time 130 people will be let go!  It’s blamed on the failed Keurig Kold system.

Virginia: Food Lion shutting down its grocery store in the West Broad Commons, saying it wasn’t worth renewing the lease (it could also be because Food Lion is spending $71-million USD remodeling more profitable stores).  In Petersburg, after only four months Farmers Market Restaurant & Bar suddenly shutdown after failing to pay rent for three of those four months! A lawsuit has been filed claiming the restaurant owners committed fraud.

Washington DC: Ristorante Piccolo and Catch 15 now chapter 11 bankrupt busted.

West Virginia: In Spring Mills, after almost 40 years Barney’s Restaurant shutdown and sold-off to pay for the owner’s retirement.

Wisconsin:  Who will know how to spell bologna now? Warren Buffett owned meat packer Oscar Mayer-Kraft shutting down its 1-hundred years old factory in Madison by the end of July, as a result of the 2015 merger of Kraft-Heinz and Oscar Mayer.

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification

U.S. Food Crisis, May 2017: “..SALES DROPPED OVER 30%..” “IT’S GOING TO BE A BIG DOWNFALL…”