Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of December, 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.
Arizona: In Phoenix, Jobot Coffee & Dining shutdown due to not being able to renew the lease.
California: Gourmet grocery store Bristol Farms notified the state that it will shutdown its San Francisco location, 82 jobs gone by the end of January 2017. Also in San Francisco, after 30 years popular restaurant Kuleto’s issued a shutdown WARN, 103 jobs lost by January 2017 due to a “management decision”! Restaurant Ozumo finally notified the state that it shutdown its Oakland restaurant, 45 jobs lost back in November. Bacon-n-beef burger joint Slater’s 50/50-24356 Swartz Burgers- 8009 Day Burgers-61 N Raymond issued mass shutdown WARNs for several locations, 698 jobs gone by February 2017! In Lodi, School Street Bistro shutdown after 15 years so the family owners can take care of their parents. After 47 years in Los Angeles, iconic Norm’s restaurant on Pico Boulevard shutdown by the property’s new owners. In San Diego, after 70 years Anthony’s Fish Groto shutdown due to the landlord refusing to renew the lease. In Berkeley, after 20 years upscale Cafe Rouge shutdown, the owners claimed they couldn’t find enough competent employees.
Colorado: In Glenwood Springs, Big Daddy’s Sports Bar shutting down the day after New Year’s Day, the owners said the number one reason was “family”.
Connecticut: After seven years La Petite France shutting down by mid January 2017, the owners saying “it’s time for us to move on.” After 30 years Lincoln Culinary Institute-Connecticut Culinary Institute shutdown due to failing to meet tougher U.S. Department of Education rules demanding proof that graduates actually find decent paying jobs. The Roger Sherman Inn and restaurant shutdown by the new owner, a property developer.
Delaware: Restaurant Lula Brazil shutdown due to the owner’s health problems.
Florida: Poultry processor and shipper Wayne Farms issued a layoff WARN for 13 employees. Interestingly the state lists the food logistics company as “manufacturing”. In Lake Worth, Hoffman’s Chocolates shutdown due to “…sales have been down 50% the past four years…”, six jobs lost.
Georgia: Buffalo’s shutdown their 19 years old restaurant in Athens. The restaurant was for sale but the landlord suddenly banned anymore restaurants from setting up shop in that location.
Hawaii: After less than a year the Magnolia Bakery suddenly shutdown it’s location in the General Growth Properties (GGP) owned Ala Moana Center mall.
Illinois: In Buckstown, the new owners of iconic Feast restaurant shut it down so they can chop-up the building into smaller retail spaces. Hershey’s announced it will shutdown it’s Chocolate World store off of North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. In Galesburg, after 88 years New China Cafe shutdown. The second owners claim they’ve the menu has been unchanged since the 1940s, maybe that’s why sales have crashed: “We’ve been hanging by a thread for the past three years. The city’s trying to bring the economy back, but there are no factories; it’s mostly retail and chain restaurants, and we can’t compete.”-Melinda Kilgore, co-owner
Indiana: In Indianapolis, after 82 years Italian joint Milano Inn shutdown, 65 jobs lost due to the owners wanting to retire. The owners say they’re trying to sell the property and hope any new owner will re-open the restaurant.
Kansas: In Wichita, TLC Muffins shutdown after 30 years. One of the co-owners was hurt in an accident and they had to put everything up for sale, but only the equipment and property was sold, nobody wanted the bakery operation.
Maryland: In Bel Air, after 42 years Friendly’s Restaurant & Ice Cream shutdown “… effective immediately.”
Massachusetts: For the second time this year Boston based bar management software developer BevSpot laid off employees. Reports say BevSpot’s entire ‘outbound’ sales department was canned due to low sales to restaurants and bars. Boston’s Rattlesnake Bar & Grill went chapter 7 bankrupt busted, shutting down after 26 years. Friendly’s Restaurant shutdown their Chicopee distribution center, about 50 jobs lost to a contractor.
Michigan: In Port Huron, ThumbCoast Brewing Company shutdown blaming taxpayer funded city construction projects for creating “…challenges that we’ve faced throughout 2016, especially those which had (a) significant impact on revenue during the months of May and June, have finally caught up with us and we can no longer move forward.”
Minnesota: Sausage joint Prairie Dogs shutdown their Minneapolis location, on Lake Street, saying “Our demographic was not the Millennials that live around here.” Golden Valley based food producer General Mills announced it will eliminate 6-hundred jobs in 2017! It’s the result of ongoing restructuring of the company, local news media reported that since 2014 General Mills has eliminated 5-thousand jobs globally! Cookery seller Williams-Sonoma announced it will shutdown it’s store in the Mall of America, in early 2017.
Missouri: In Columbia, after 40 years Country Kitchen shutdown due to not being able to afford a new lease.
Montana: In Helena, after five years Fusion Grill shutdown with only three days official notice to employees, but then it suddenly shutdown one day early! The owners of the restaurant gave no reason for the shutdown and refused to talk to local news media.
New Jersey: Toms River Diner shutdown after 45 years. Panera Bread shutdown their Westfield location, apparently because the bakery didn’t meet the corporate “standards”.
New Mexico: Texas based RedBrick Pizza Kitchen Cafe warning they will shutdown their Farmington location if sales don’t pick up. The local franchise owners say they’ve pumped money into major repairs, then sales crashed. They blame it on a sudden explosion of new restaurants opening in the area. In Albuquerque, after 27 years Ko Palace shutdown so the owner can retire.
New York: JFK International Airport Terminal 7 food service company HMS Host issued a shutdown WARN, 122 jobs gone by March 2017 due to contract suddenly being canceled! Cafe Pushkin Central issued a shutdown WARN, 70 jobs gone by the New Gregorian Year. In Oneida, cookware and dinnerware maker EveryWare issued a shutdown WARN with periodic layoffs taking place between February and May 2017. In Brooklyn NYC, Gorilla Coffee shutting down its 97 5th Avenue location, local news reports say the company has been planning to shut it down since 2013. In Manhattan NYC, after 79 years Carnegie Deli shutdown despite public protests from customers and employees, and despite one former employee claiming to have made an offer to buy the restaurant, and despite a 2015 grand re-opening ceremony by NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. According to a statement by the owners it’s no longer worth it to run a business in The Big Apple. In NYC, after 18 months the Will Ferrell themed Stay Classy Bar shutdown due to being overly successful, the owners claiming that from now on they’ll run temporary “pop-up” operations across the country. After 11 years the Cake Shop music venue shutdown due to long term problems including not enough money to pay bills. In Watkins Glen, after 50 years Mister Chicken shutdown due to the owner’s health problems.
North Carolina: In Wake Forest, after 20 years the Old English Tea Room shutdown, the owners said they couldn’t make enough money to justify the amount of time they put into it. In Greensboro, after five years Beans Boro Coffeehouse shutdown on Xmas Eve, the owner said the stress of running a business outweighed his sales. Food & drink container maker Ball shutting down their factory in Reidsville, 150 jobs lost by mid-2017! In Winston-Salem, after 12 years Flashback Smoothies & Grill shutdown so the owner can focus on his marketing business.
Ohio: Cincinnati based grocery chain operator Kroger wants 2-thousand employees to voluntarily quit and is offering bribes (buyouts) to make it happen! It’s blamed on declining sales, which began at the end of 2015. Kroger also shutting down its money losing (for the past 20 years) Walnut Hills store on McMicken Street, 81 jobs gone by March 2017. In Steubenville, after 12 years Aubrey’s Bakery shutdown, the owners of the successful business said “We are feeling the wear and tear on our bodies. And we want to leave the bakery on a high note.” In Franklinton, after 71 years restaurant Florentine shutdown without explanation.
Oklahoma: After 33 years in OK City, Pioneer Pies shutdown due to the owners not willing to agree to the new lease.
Pennsylvania: Wolfgang Candy shutdown their North York retail sales outlet, blaming crashing sales ever since 2013. Erie County Farms grocery store shutdown after going chapter 7 bankrupt. In Erie, after 62 years Taki’s shutdown so the owner could retire. Despite being made famous by Barack Obama, Five Guy’s shutdown their York burger joint on Loucks Road, with no explanation. In Hopwood, after 68 years grocer Adrian’s Market shutdown so the owner can retire. One customer was quoted by local news as saying “It sucks!”
Rhode Island: Cafe-bakery Au Bon Pain shutdown, the owners blame crashing sales on the city of Providence for forcing potential customers to pay for parking! Local news reports say it was the third business to shutdown as a result of the new city parking meters!
South Carolina: In Columbia, Eric’s San Jose Restaurante Mexicano shutdown without warning to employees. Local news media say the owner refuses to comment about it. The Atlanta Bread Company shutdown one of three West Columbia locations and revealed they will eventually shutdown the other two locations in early 2017.
South Dakota: In Mitchell, CherryBerry Self-Serve Yogurt Bar shutdown due to lack of customers willing to serve themselves.
Tennessee: In Brentwood, bridal shop-bakery supply shop Sugar Drop shutdown, the owner is dedicating herself to the foundation she created after her son was killed in Afghanistan.
Texas: In Dallas, ice cream shop Cow Tipping Creamery shutdown after only nine months, the owners blame the location.
Virginia: In Waynesboro, after ten years Big Apple Bagels shutting down by the end of January 2017. The owners spent the last two years trying to sell their business but nobody was interested, and then the lease expired. Martin’s Food Markets announced they are shutting down four more grocery stores, at least 4-hundred jobs lost by February 2017! It’s blamed on the sale of the stores to a competitor.
Washington: In Spokane, Anthony’s Beach Café shutdown, apparently due to a failed marketing gimmick.
Washington DC: After four years Grassroots Gourmet shutdown their Bloomingdale bakery on Xmas Eve.
Wisconsin: In Brookfield, after nine years Joey’s Seafood and Grill shutdown, the owners said they couldn’t afford to renew the lease. In Milwaukee, Breugger’s shutdown their North Water Street bagel joint.
WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification
U.S. Food Crisis, November 2016: “…LEAN TIMES FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD.”
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