Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of March, 2018: 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.
Many individual farmers are suffering from low prices caused by oversupply. Oversupply can be caused by overproduction, but I believe there’s another factor creating the oversupply situation; more and more consumers are buying less food because they have less money. Domestic demand could be falling because the U.S. economy, for working class people, has not recovered.
Alaska: In Juneau, vegan food truck Happy Camper shutdown. State Department of Fish and Game is warning that more wild sheep and goats are being found with mycoplasma ovipneumonia (a respiratory bacteria).
Arizona: In Tucson, after about 25 years cafe Chocolate Iguana being kicked out by the building’s new owner, who just happens to be connected to a competing coffee shop chain.
Arkansas: The evil Monsanto’s lawsuit against the Arkansas Plant Board has been dismissed. Tyson Foods suddenly laid off 150 people in Van Buren due to “changes in production needs”! Flying Burrito shutdown its 15 years old Fayetteville restaurant, without giving a reason. Also in Fayetteville, CV’s Family Foods shutting down when the inventory is gone, blaming it on competition from a new Walmart Neighborhood Market. In Humnoke, flooding farm fields required a response by the National Guard:
California: After 45 years Bracken Bird Farm suddenly shutdown blaming five years of low sales, but the recent theft of some parrots was the final straw. In Santa Barbara, after 34 years Max’s Restaurant and Cucina shutdown blaming a bad economy coupled with wildfires and mudslides. In Lafayette, after five years Rustic Tavern shutdown due to a dispute over the lease. La Brea Bakery shutting down its distribution center in Vernon, 109 jobs gone by the end of April! San Diego based brewery Green Flash announced it halted distribution to an additional ten U.S. states, in January Green Flash laid off 15% of its employees and halted ops in 32 states. Boyd Coffee Company shutting down its San Diego ops in May. In Fresno, after 18 years Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory suddenly shutdown due to losing the lease. In Long Beach, after at least three decades Paradise Bar & Restaurant shutdown. In Napa, after 71 years Vallerga’s Market shutdown, the owner saying “The grocery industry has changed. It’s a very competitive industry and Napa does have a lot of grocery stores.” Claim Jumper issued a shutdown WARN for its restaurant in Temecula, 77 jobs gone by mid-May. Raley’s Supermarkets issued a temporary shutdown WARN for its Windsor location, 63 jobs gone by June. Switzerland owned Nestlé continues killing California jobs, this time it was revealed that 89 jobs were eliminated in February. Switzerland owned ARYZTA shutting down its Los Angeles ops, 109 jobs gone by the end of April! Seneca Foods issued a shutdown WARN for its massive ops in Modesto, 1-thousand-975 jobs gone by September! Yet another reason for not living in The Golden State; Proposition 65 forces business to tell you that coffee causes cancer. The Cheesecake Factory issued a shutdown WARN for its Palo Alto location, 140 jobs gone by the end of May! Texas based Claim Jumper issued a shutdown WARN for its Temecula restaurant, 77 jobs gone by the end of May.
Colorado: Even though marijuana is legal in The Centennial State, firefighters found an illegal ganja farm while fighting a wildfire in El Paso County. The state’s largest producer of meat products, JBC Agricultural Management-Crystal River Meats, chapter 11 bankrupt busted due to a cattle purchase deal that went bad last year.
Connecticut: “Falling milk prices have hit farmers in my state hard…. …farm milk prices are forecasted to drop in 2018, and Connecticut’s already struggling dairy farmers would be in dire straits without immediate federal action.”–Chris Murphy, U.S. senator
Florida: Jacksonville based Southeastern Grocers/BI-LO/ Harveys/ Winn-Dixie/Fresco y Más now chapter 11 bankrupt busted and shutting down 94 stores, potentially more than 8-thousand jobs lost! In October 2017, an anonymous Southeastern Grocers employee posted on glassdoor.com “We are losing customers everyday.” Don’t forget that Winn-Dixie has been killing jobs for several years now. H.I. Development eliminating 88 jobs at Miami International Airport by June.
Georgia: Farmers expressing concerns over what they call ‘dumping’ of crops onto the U.S. Market by Canada and Mexico, due to NAFTA. This is another cause of oversupply.
Hawaii: In a confusing situation, a restaurant customer complained of finding bug parts in their lettuce, the restaurant said the lettuce came from an aquaponics farm, state Health Department decided to shutdown all aquaponics farms, then suddenly reversed its decision.
Idaho: Sandpoint based supplement maker Thorne issued a layoff WARN, 136 jobs gone by the end of April! A Texas billionaire is behind the recent changes to The Gem State’s farm trespass law. West of Hidden Springs, residents are upset over plans to sell 1-thousand acres (404 hectares) of farmland to people who want to build almost 2-thousand houses. A federal judge ruled that the federal government illegally quarantined potato farms, some farmers went out of business as a result. Despite that the state Farm Bureau still boasts that more potatoes are grown in Idaho than in any other state.
Illinois: In Champaign, Wedge Tequila Bar and Grill shutdown after a weeks notice. In Chicago, popular Cemitas Puebla suddenly shutdown its Hyde Park location, so the owners can focus on a new project. In Collinsville, after more than 40 years, after two years attempting to sell it, The Sandwich Shop shutdown, the owners saying “We’ve all decided it’s been enough.”
Indiana: In New Albanay, the popular Feast BBQ suddenly shutdown, not because of lack of sales but because “Feast BBQ outgrew our space in New Albany the day we opened the doors……We have been faced with the challenge of operating a restaurant in too small of a space, with nowhere to expand…..” In Indianapolis, after 18 years Santorini Greek Kitchen, the owners blaming health problems “beyond their control.”
Iowa: “The added costs due to our county regulations have put some of our new business ideas on hold as we had to shift our focus to regulatory compliance rather than enhancing our business endeavors.”-Jenny Quiner, urban farmer
Kansas: In Valley Center, after 50 years Leeker’s Family Foods shutting down in April due to the greedy landlord.
Kentucky: In Louisville, after 72 years Dundee Candy Shop has been sold to competitor Sweet Spot Candy Shop, who plans on consolidating the Dundee brand within its own shop (the original Dundee Candy Shop will shutdown in April).
Louisiana: In Monroe, Restaurant Sage suddenly shutdown after a little more than ten years, the owners didn’t say why.
Maine: In Portland, Big J’s Chicken Shack shutdown due to being ‘bought-out’ in that location, the owners of the Big J’s brand say they’re looking for new locations.
Maryland: Humane Society of Wicomico County reports efforts to rescue more than 32 horses from a Quantico farm, where more than 24 horses were found dead. The dire situation was revealed by a local TV station, which aired video of the dead horses rotting on the farmland.
Massachusetts: Seekonk Police arrested two people for stealing chickens and ducks, the cops followed a trail of feathers to a vehicle filled with poultry, and the two suspects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that from 2007 to 2012 the area lost 50 farms (mainly family farms).
Michigan: With only a few days warning Cold Stone Creamery shutdown its Grand Blanc location, eight jobs suddenly gone due to lack of sales. Coca Cola shutting down its distribution center in Port Huron, 25 jobs affected by consolidation ops. An article by Marketplace reveals that the hugely successful urban farm projects operated by poor people in Detroit are becoming a threat to traditional/industrial farming.
Minnesota: In Minneapolis, Kings Wine Bar shutdown due to the owners getting an offer for the property they couldn’t refuse. Rainbow Foods shutdown its Richfield store with only a week-long notice blaming crashed sales on “competitive changes and two summers of road construction.” Buffalo Wild Wings suddenly laid off 132 people at its HQ in Minneapolis (Golden Valley), due to being taken over by Arby’s!
Mississippi: Cooper Restaurants shutting down its ten years old Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ridgeland, “due to changing market dynamics.”
Missouri: USDA reports H7N1 (bird flu) on a turkey farm in Jasper County, it is now quarantined. U.S. Department of Commerce data shows low personal incomes in The Show Me State might have contributed to a 72% decline in agricultural income in 2017.
Montana: State taxpayers are now the owners of a farm after the State Land Board spent the most money ever ($11-million USD) buying the Angela Farm. The opioid problem has farmers on edge: “If you would have told me a year ago that it was a problem, I would have said no, but when you start looking at the numbers and we’ve actually had instances of people we know that have been involved with some problems with opioid addictions.”– John Youngberg, Montana Farm Bureau Federation
“…opioids can spell disaster for a farm family and ranch family so we’re trying our best to educate and communicate the ways we can help if you are addicted to it.”-Alan Merrill, Montana Farmers Union
Nebraska: The University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s (UNL) Ag Economics Department discovered that 77% of ‘farmers’ said they were concerned about making enough money, 45% said they expect their incomes to decline. And that survey had nothing to do with the possibility of tariffs on dealing with China. Communist China (People’s Republic of China) is threatening to impose tariffs on pork products coming from the United States, which is scaring the poop out of Nebraska’s pig farmers: “We know that most of our pork that is variety meats, such as the hearts, the livers, and things we don’t eat here in the United States, 82% of that goes outside the United States and that’s incredibly important for us as pork producers to have a market for that and a lot of that goes to the country of China.”-Terry O’Neel
Nevada: University of Nevada has split-off 104 acres (42 hectares) of its Main Station Farm land to be sold for ‘unit development’, because the university needs money for ‘capital improvement projects’. Administrators claim the remaining farmland will be maintained. Minimum bid for a 40 acres (16 hectares) parcel is $20-million USD.
New Mexico: USDA reporting that chile crop acreage declined by 12% in 2017, and has been declining for the past ten years. It’s blamed on drought and on competition from the more profitable pecan, but that might change if China imposes tariffs on pecans.
New York: Grocery store Stop & Shop shutting down its Hempstead location, 1-hundred jobs gone by mid-June due to “under-performing” sales! In Syracuse, J. Ryan’s Pub forced to shutdown when the lease was suddenly “terminated”. In NYC, after six years North End Grill shutting down by Xmas, local news media reported the restaurant has suffered from complaints of inappropriate behavior by management towards employees. After 50 years New Beer Distributors shutting down due to “a lot” of reasons, including a doubling of rent and increased taxes. After 116 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) Glaser’s Bake Shop shutting down in July. In Liverpool, after 22 years Bruegger’s Bagels suddenly shutdown.Last year the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that U.S. farmers lead the country in suicides, by more than twice that of veterans! It’s blamed mainly on the fact that individual farmers never truly ‘get-ahead’ financially. This year New York dairy cooperatives are issuing suicide letters with the milk payments!
North Carolina: Loco for Coco is halting its more than ten years old brick-n-mortar chocolate shop ops and selling online only.
North Dakota: Farmers are fretting over a possible trade war with China, as it could kill-off their $1.5-billion USD soybean sales to that communist country.
Ohio: In Leroy, about a dozen 4-H animals were killed in a barn fire. A tractor was destroyed as well as feed for surviving animals. In Dayton, Buffalo Wild Wings shutting down its restaurant on North Main Street “later in 2018″, but swears they’re opening a new restaurant in another location. Buffalo Wild Wings also shutting down its location in West Carrollton , “later in 2018″.
Oregon: Boyd’s Coffee Company shutting down “Due to the asset purchase acquisition of Boyd’s by Farmer Bros.”, at least 76 employees in Portland and Eugene unemployed between April and October 2018. On 16MAR2018, beef processor Bartel’s Packing suddenly went out of business leaving 142 people suddenly jobless! Bartel’s administrators said that after the “unexpected loss of one of our largest customers”, and a failed attempt to sell the business, debts came due and there was no money to pay them.
Pennsylvania: In Pittsburgh, after 16 years of free drinks for students Qdoba restaurant suddenly shutdown, without warning, due to a corporate decision. After 71 years McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores shutting down its last two stores, in Monroeville and Brentwood, the owners saying “…at the end of the day, there was just too much pressure. We couldn’t keep up.” Specialty Bakers suddenly shutdown its Lititz location, 102 jobs gone! Riverbend Foods issued a shutdown WARN for its Pittsburgh location, 512 jobs gone in May!
Rhode Island: After getting taxpayer incentives in 2015, Ireland based food producer Greencore broke its promise and is shutting down its North Kingstown factory, hundreds of jobs gone! One of it’s major clients is Amazon.
South Carolina: The growth of mega-farms is creating concerns over the groundwater supply. The $44-billion USD aqua-farming/mari-culture industry is going down, but not because of declining sales, it’s because of over harvesting resulting in strict federal regulations which are killing jobs for commercial fisher-people.
Tennessee: Panera Bread suddenly shutdown its Oxmoor Center location. For those who buy their food from a store prices are actually good for them, but bad for farmers: “It’s a difficult time for agriculture in Tennessee. We’re in a transitional period in Tennessee with prices. It could be better, and I sure hope it gets better soon. Nationally, we have 150,000 too many cattle producing milk. This oversupply happens from time to time, and it’s not good for farmers. They are severely hurting right now. We’re also down in beef prices, grain prices, almost everything. It’s not looking good at the moment.”-Julius Johnson, state Department of Agriculture Commissioner
Texas: The state Farm Bureau confirms that farm oversupply is dropping prices in grocery stores, specifically for meat and dairy. This oversupply is happening despite that fact that 61% of Texas is in a drought and parts of east Texas are flooding! Iola Food Market suddenly shutdown, it was reported by residents to local news media, the news media was unable to get a comment from the store owner.
Virginia: In Leesburg, music-BBQ venue Smokehouse Live shutting down. Ornery Beer Company shutdown its Woodbridge public house (pub) because the landlord was “unwilling to work with us to reduce the size or our rent”. California based Green Flash brewery shutdown its Virginia Beach location just six months after opening, 43 jobs gone. Supervalu owned Farm Fresh issued a massive shutdown WARN for 38 stores (21 of which are currently for sale), easily more than 3-thousand jobs gone by mid-May!
Washington: Twin Cities Foods issued a shutdown WARN for its Stanwoods ‘rabbit food’ (frozen veggies) factory, 92 jobs gone by mid-May due to a new factory being built in Pasco. State leaders have banned fish farming.
Washington DC: Greedy city officials sold-off massive amounts of land for a massive gentrification project, which will result in the destruction of the popular K Street Urban Farm project in 2019.
Wisconsin: In Madison, after 14 years the Silly Yak bakery shutdown, the owner saying “it’s just become harder and harder to source ingredients for gluten free”. In Manitowoc, after 20 years Capone’s Pub & Grill suddenly shutdown. In Milwaukee, restaurants Wolf Peach, and Supper shutdown because the property owner suddenly sold-off the buildings. In Edgerton, Craving Burgers shutdown after three years, supposedly being replaced in April by Craving Tacos. Foremost Farms selling-off its operations in Rothschild, 110 jobs gone in May! In Barron County, a father and son were killed when a silo collapsed on them. A Washington County deer farm is under quarantine after a dead deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD, mad-cow). The deer was found dead from what appeared to be wounds from a fight with other deer, but testing revealed CWD. This also resulted in the quarantine of a deer farm 2-hundred miles away in Bayfield County, because 24 deer from the Washington County deer farm were transferred to the farm in Bayfield County. So far none of the Bayfield deer have tested positive for CWD. Small scale dairy producers in Wisconsin are being hurt by Texas mega-farms.
Wyoming: In Cheyenne, after five years Steamboat’s Steak & Smokehouse being kicked out by the landlord, who found a new tenant willing to pay higher rent. Popular Steamboat’s is looking for a new location.
WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification
U.S. Food Crisis, February 2018: “I’M NOT SURE WE CAN SUPPORT ALL THESE STORES. OBVIOUSLY, WE CAN’T.”