“shockingly closed until further notice”: U.S. Food Crisis, October 2017

Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of October, 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.


Nothing to cry about: Onion crop yields in Idaho and Oregon are 30% smaller compared to last year, resulting in less of a supply, causing a doubling of prices for consumers (50 pound bag yellow onions now averaging $10, last year it was $5.50).  The smaller harvest is blamed on the weather.

Arizona: In Phoenix, after 60 years Park Central Deli shutting down in time for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, due to the lease not being renewed by the new landlord.  After 18 years the Phoenix Alice Cooper’stown restaurant suddenly shutdown.  Cornbread Ventures-Z’Tejas now chapter 11 bankrupt busted and at least four restaurants immediately shutdown.

Arkansas: Walmart shutting down its Neighborhood Market grocery store in Little Rock, 1-hundred jobs gone before Thanksgiving!

California:  Ice cream maker Nestle Dryers-Häagen-Dazs laying off 896 people at its Bakersfield and Tulare factories!  The Los Angeles Museum of Ice Cream issued a shutdown WARN, 114 jobs gone right before Xmas! ‘High-end’ eatery Bouchon Beverly Hills issued a shutdown WARN, 137 jobs gone right after Xmas!  Food supply company KeHE Monterrey Provisions issued a shutdown WARN for its San Diego ops, 91 jobs gone at the beginning of December.  In West Sacramento, after 57 years King’s Restaurant shutdown.   In Santa Rosa, unprecedentedly fast moving wildfire destroyed a Arby’sMcDonald’s, Puerto Vallarta and Applebee’s.  In Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma shutdown its cookware store due to lack of employees, caused by the wildfires (at one point 3-hundred people were reported missing).  Several wineries were destroyed by wildfires, some vineyards survived.  In the wildfire area the Sweet T’s and Cricklewood restaurants, and Willi’s Wine Bar, burned down.  In San Francisco, after 17 years themed Rainforest Cafe shutdown.  In Alameda, after 25 years Gold Coast Bistro and Bar shutdown, the upset owners saying “…we didn’t have a choice”, the property owner kicked them out.   In Saratoga, after 47 years Gene’s Fine Foods shutdown after the aged owner failed to find a buyer for the popular grocery store: “I was very shocked because this store was doing good! We felt like we were going in the right direction.”-Jeremy Jercha, now former assistant store manager

Colorado: In Old Colorado City, 2South Food + Wine Bar suddenly shutdown because “The owners have decided to go a different direction…”.  Denver based restaurant chain Romano’s Macaroni Grill now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, after shutting down 37 of 116 restaurants.  The loser CEO blamed “younger consumers”.

Connecticut:  In New Haven, restaurants Thali Too and Oaxaca Kitchen shutdown, both owners blaming too much competition.  In New Milford, after more than 20 years Bank Street Coffee House shutdown by the landlord (MLST Investments), who refuses to explain why.

Florida: At Universal Orlando, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop shutting down, 66 jobs gone right after Xmas.  In Naples, after eight years Daniela’s shutting down so the owner can spend more time with her family.  Mosaic Fertilizer eliminating 430 jobs right after Xmas!

Illinois:  In Decatur, CherryBerry announced the sudden shutdown of its Nelson Park restaurant on Facebook.  In Chicago, after three years the owners of pasta joint Charlatan announced on Facebook they were shutting it down, the only reason given was that it was “time for new adventures”Johnny’s Grill and Mezclaeria Las Flores shutting down at the beginning of November.  In Frankfort, after ten years Kernel Sweetooth shutdown due to the greedy landlord having new plans for the property.

Indiana:  Chapter 11 Bankrupt busted Marsh shutdown its last grocery store in Anderson, despite executives claiming they filed bankruptcy to keep their remaining 44 stores open.  In Lafayette, Pizza King shutdown its 50 years old Jefferson Square location, a disgruntled employee telling local news media “it’s a lot cheaper just to shut it down.”

Iowa: Switzerland based Nestlé laying off 56 people at its food factory in Waverly, by the end of 2018, as part of Nestlé’s global streamlining plan.  Ferrara Candy Company issued a shutdown WARN for its Creston candy factory, 215 jobs gone right before Xmas!

Kansas: In Shawnee, after four years castle themed restaurant Renee Kelly’s Harvest shutdown.

Kentucky: In Lexington, after nine years upscale The Julep Cup shutdown due to not being able to renew the lease.

Massachusetts: In Lynn, after only one year White Rose Coffeehouse shutdown, the owner blaming it on harassment after her daughter called police “bullies” on social media and refused to take part in an apparently mandatory ‘coffee with a cop’ program.

Michigan: Kroger shutting down its Gratiot Road grocery store in Saginaw, 92 jobs gone before Xmas.  In Interlochen, after 35 years Ric’s Food Center shutdown, the owners blamed it on a radical change in the economy.

Minnesota: In Minneapolis, after 32 years Lucia’s Restaurant shutdown after months of ownership changes led to reports of employee abuse in the name of turning a profit.  In the same city, after 46 years Pepitos Mexican Restaurant shutdown due to crashing sales since 2008 and the owner’s health problems.  In Rockford, after 50 years cake decorating retail supplier Sweet Pans Shoppe shutdown due to the death of the owner.  In Duluth, after more than 20 years How Sweet It Is Cakes shutdown due to a “significant decline in sales”.   Brazil based poultry processor Pilgrim’s Pride shutting down its new factory in Luverne, 2-hundred jobs gone between Thanksgiving and Xmas, due to Pilgrim’s Pride’s takeover of competitor GNP in January!

Mississippi: In Meridian, Vowell’s Marketplace shutting down due to the greedy ‘out of state’ property owner refusing to make necessary upgrades, 40 grocery jobs gone by Thanksgiving.  In Brandon, after 20 years Nichols-Boyd Pumpkin Patch shutdown due to property upkeep that now exceeds the rewards of running a pumpkin patch.

Missouri: In Saint Louis, Supervalue owned Shop ‘n Save grocery store in Gravois Plaza shutting down in November.

New Hampshire: After 107 years Marelli’s Fruit & Real Estate shutdown its store in Newmarket, local news reports say at one time there were five stores, now there’s only one.

New York: Animatronic pizza joint Chuck E. Cheese’s suddenly shutdown its Wallkill location, blaming the greedy landlord.  In NYC, 100 Sardines Management issued a shutdown WARN for its Lupulo restaurant, 55 jobs gone days before Xmas.  KBFK 52 shutting down its Bar Americain, 96 jobs gone in January 2018. Orange Brands Management and 7th & Barrow issued a shutdown WARN, 81 jobs gone after Xmas.  Centerplate at Saks Fifth Avenue New York City shutting down its Fifth Dining, 57 jobs gone after Xmas.  NYC based internet food delivery company Blue Apron suddenly eliminated about 3-hundred marketing, software development, operations and business development jobs!  In Colonie,  after 106 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) Ryan’s Farmers Market shutting down and for sale because “The business is just not what it used to be.”  In Horseheads, after five years Birdland Brewing shutdown due to the owner’s health problems.

North Carolina: In Asheville, the owner of Frostbite Ice Cream Bar shutdown one of his popular operations due to his health problems.  In Charlotte, Catch on Seafood’s shutdown, the owner blaming never ending city road projects for causing a 60% crash in sales.   In Davidson, after being for sale for the past two months Healthy Home Market shutdown, 27 jobs gone.  In Raleigh, after less than two years BBQ joint Bare Bones shutdown, not due to lack of sales but because of the cost to operate the restaurant: “The market loved the food and the atmosphere, but the sheer size of the space didn’t allow it to become profitable.”-Gaurav ‘G’ Patel, owner

Ohio: In Columbus, booze filled chocolate maker/seller Le Chocoholique shutting down its seven years old retail ops to focus on wholesale only.  It should be noted that the retail operations replaced a failed Starbucks.  In Lima, after 25 years Just Ducky’s Gourmet Coffees, Foods & Unique Gifts shutdown due to ongoing road construction: “It really did destroy my business. It truly did.…People couldn’t get to me.”-Ducky Allen, owner

Oregon:  In Portland, The Commons Brewery shutting down right before Thanksgiving, apparently it’ll be replaced with a California based brewery sometime in 2018.  After 1-hundred years of Summer sales Beebe Farms shutdown, the owners saying “It was not going to be a profitable venture to keep the farm going at this point.”

Pennsylvania: Ohio Valley Bistro’s shutting down its TGI Friday’s at the Pittsburgh Airport, 23 jobs gone two days after Xmas.  In Whitehall, after 11 years Granny Schmidt’s Bake Shop shutting down at the beginning of November, so the owner can retire.  In Pittsburgh, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy shutdown because of complaints about the loud jazz music (despite $25-thousand USD in soundproofing).  In Grove City, after six years Save-A-Lot shutting down in time for Thanksgiving.  Taggart’s Orchard shutdown after 32 years so the owners can retire.

Tennessee: Maryville based financially troubled chain restaurant Ruby Tuesday sold-off for $146-million USD.  Over the past two years Ruby Tuesday shutdown more than 1-hundred restaurants.

Texas: In Austin, Austin Java Co shutdown its North Lamar Boulevard location, supposedly this is part of a plan to open four new locations.

Vermont:  In Shelburne, the owners of Bijou Fine Chocolate posted a notice on the door saying the shop is now “shockingly closed until further notice”, apparently due to financial problems between the owners.

Virginia: In Newport News, Bella’s Restaurant shutdown without warning, and without refunding money to customers who had reserved the eatery for upcoming events.

Washington: In North Seattle, Cafe Racer suddenly shutdown, the owner blames a 2012 shooting for causing crashing sales.

Wisconsin: In Manona, after five years restaurant Las Islas Del Mao shutdown due to not being able to renew the lease.  In Green Bay, after more than 50 years Willow Street Bakery shutdown, the owners blame insurance companies saying “The industry has just gotten too hard to be in a small business…..   This last insurance increase was the straw that broke the camel’s back…”.

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification