Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of May, 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 Huntsville, after more than 50 years El Palacio shutdown due to the owner’s health problems, and nobody interested in taking over the popular restaurant.
Arizona: In Tucson, after 44 years Delectables Restaurant & Catering shutting down restaurant operations by the end of June, the owner will focus on catering only. Also in Tucson, after 64 years Molina’s Midway Mexican Food shutdown and sold-off, the now former owners blaming “the stress of running a restaurant.”
California: In Kern County one of the largest landowners in The Golden State, Tejon Ranch, suddenly laid off 11 employees blaming it on low commodity prices. Norway based Marine Harvest shutting down its Los Angeles office by the end of June. Hines Growers issued a shutdown WARN for its San Juan operations, 115 jobs gone by October! In Anaheim, Arundel Cuisine shutting down, 62 jobs lost by the end of July. Applebees shutting down its 17 years old Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Rancho Mirage, saying it’s not worth it to renew the lease. In San Diego, after 31 years restaurant Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio shutdown so the owners can focus on their newer restaurant gigs. France based food contractor Sodexo continues to lose contracts, this time it lost its contract with UC Davis, 136 jobs lost by the end of June! In San Francisco, meal delivery service Sprig suddenly shutdown: “The demand for Sprig’s convenient, high-quality food was always incredibly high, but the complexity of owning meal production through delivery at scale was a challenge.”-Gagan Biyani, CEO
Colorado: Walmart shutting down its four years old Neighborhood Market in Boulder, supposedly the 70 employees can transfer to a Walmart Supercenter. Also in Boulder, after 40 years Turley’s Kitchen shutdown due to the owners being unable to hire competent employees, and being unable to find a buyer for the iconic ‘health food’ restaurant. Despite record levels of legal immigration into the U.S., the owners say it’s gotten harder to find people who’re willing to do things like wash dishes! Local news media says the building is still for sale and the lease is good for 27 years!
Connecticut: The Original Swanky Franks suddenly shutdown after more than 60 years of hot dogs. It was revealed the family owners were planning on selling it, but an injury to one of the co-owners forced them to shutdown sooner than planned. ShopRite shutting down in West Haven, 148 jobs gone by the end of July!
Florida: In North Naples restaurant Masa shutdown after five years, the owners saying it wasn’t worth it to renew the lease. Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown its Weston food distribution center, killing 246 jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K (Project K, started in 2013)! Winn Dixie shutting down store-72 in Jacksonville, about 60 to 70 jobs lost in June. Florida news media say an unnamed Winn Dixie manager revealed that many management level jobs are being eliminated at other Winn Dixie stores.
Georgia: Winn Dixie shutting down store-97 in Brunswick, about 60 to 70 jobs lost in June. In Covington, Henderson’s shutdown due to the state Department of Transportation’s ‘realignment’ project for the intersection (right in front of the restaurant) taking much longer to complete than was officially anticipated.
Idaho: After years of negative customer reviews one of two Pocatello Pizza Huts quietly shutdown. The Pizza Hut at 1151 Yellowstone Avenue has been repainted olive green and is now for sale. The Idaho Wine Commission is accusing the city of Boise of intentionally restricting the issuing of booze permits for public events. It started last year when the city switched to issuing only one catering permit per event. The result is that many area wineries are refusing to take part in Boise events: “As a consequence of this, we no longer…. participate in events in Boise.”-Earl Sullivan, Telaya Wine Company
Because of more than a decade of drought Idaho ‘lawmakers’ came up with a law changing how state controlled aquifers are recharged, now they’re claiming success as recharging efforts resulted in more than expected water capture. However, the new law involves taxpayers paying independent canal operators to divert their water into state aquifers. Under complicated water access ‘rights’ laws the state of Idaho is limited to how much water it can collect for its aquifers, but, by paying canal operators the state can get around the access limit. Idaho is incorrectly known as the potato state even though potatoes are not its biggest ag product (the myth is perpetuated by the potato industry and the state government), beef is usually the biggest money making ag product in Idaho. Then there’s fishing. Anglers from around the U.S. come to Idaho to fish but this year the Spring chinook season was shutdown early due to low numbers of the salmon: “….we are still very concerned regarding our ability to collect brood stock for future hatchery releases. In addition, returns of natural chinook salmon in the Salmon River are far below expected and are likely to fall below the level needed for incidental hook and release mortality within those fisheries.”-Brett Bowersox, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Illinois: Grocery store supplier Central Grocers went chapter 11 bankrupt and upped its layoffs at its Joliet warehouse to 550! Blaming E.coli contamination (resulting in lawsuits), and $10-million USD of debts, SoyNut Butter went chapter 7 bankrupt busted and will be slowly killed-off via liquidation. Butterball shutting down its meat factory in Montgomery, nearly 6-hundred jobs gone by July! The oldest tavern in Chicago, Schaller’s Pump, shutdown after 136 years due to the death of the family’s patriarch. Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown its Batavia food distribution center, killing 278 jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K (Project K, started in 2013)!
Indiana: After shutting down dozens of grocery stores 86 years old Marsh Supermarkets (owned by Florida based Sun Capital since 2006) went bankrupt and will attempt to sell its remaining 44 stores. In Jasper, after 60 years Heichelbech’s Restaurant and Bar shutdown, apparently it’s been sold. In Indianapolis, after only six months restaurant LongBranch suddenly shutdown, no reason given and local news media say it was popular.
Louisiana: In Lafayette, after two years Mellow Mushroom pizza joint shutdown without explanation. After almost 40 years Guidry’s Reef shutdown due to family health problems. Hurricane Grill and Wings suddenly shutdown its Lafayette location, no reason given. And Country Cuisine announced it too will shutdown its more than 30 years old Lafayette restaurant.
Maryland: In Baltimore, after ten years Annabel Lee Tavern shutdown due to increasing competition: “The competition around me is such that it’s killed my revenue over the last two years.”-Kurt Bragunier, owner
Massachusetts: After 31 years the Ashby Food Pantry shutting down by mid-June, supposedly due to lack of demand for food. After 34 years Concord Cookware shutdown because of increased competition.
Michigan: After less than two years Dutch Girl Brewery suddenly shutdown and declared chapter 7 bankruptcy. The owners refused to comment to local news media.
Minnesota: Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown its ‘Twin Cities’ food distribution center, killing 216 jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K! In Saint Paul, after 17 years of noodles Tanpopo shutdown. In Saint Cloud, after one year upscale burger joint JL Beers shutdown blaming city administrators for ignoring parking and safety issues: “After a year of going through that and the city not paying any attention, it’s like they don’t want to see the downtown succeed.”-Lance Thorson, owner
Missouri: Eagle Family Foods shutting down its food factory in Seneca, 56 jobs lost in June due to consolidation. Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown its Kansas City food distribution center, killing 185 jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K! Also in Kansas City, after eight years upscale restaurant Julian shutting down in July, the owner can’t renew the lease.
New Hampshire: Hannaford shutdown its Hudson grocery store, claiming the employees were offered jobs elsewhere.
New Jersey: In Paterson, after more than 70 years Egg Platter Diner shutdown, supposedly the owners are looking for a new location. After about ten years Taco Truck suddenly halted ops in three cities, with no explanation.
New York: Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company, Kellogg Snacks) added four more food distribution centers to its Empire State shutdown list (from the two in April), killing about 277 additional jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K! France based Sodexo lost its food service contract with Dutchess Community College, 34 jobs gone by the end of July. In Troy, after only six months Donna’s Italian restaurant shutdown because the eatery owners weren’t allowed to buy the property. They told local news media that it’s impossible to actually make a profit “…without owning the building.” NYC based grocery chain Price Chopper shutdown a store in Winnipeg, Canada. In NYC, Chelsea Hospitality Partners shutting down its Avenue lounge in July, 42 jobs lost due to building renovations. Sparks Steak House possibly shutting down depending upon lease renewal, 87 jobs could be gone by the end of August. Cabana Midtown shutting down, 43 jobs gone by the end of July due to the landlord revoking the lease. And after 14 years Schiller’s Liquor Bar shutting down in August due to the greedy landlord jacking up the rent: “We simply cannot afford it.”-Sophie McNally, co-owner
North Carolina: Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown two food distribution centers, killing 5-hundred jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K! Bi-Lo shutting down its 24 years old grocery store in Columbus, 45 jobs lost by the end of June.
North Dakota: In Grand Forks, after 45 years Amazing Grains Natural Foods Market shutdown blaming internet and ‘big box’ competition: “Sales were dropping slowly for a year or so, and then Natural Grocers opened and sales dropped over 30%, and it’s hard for any business to recover from that.”-Betsy Perkins, manager
Oklahoma: Russell Stover shutting down a chocolate store in Tulsa due to the property manager refusing to renew the lease. Local news media revealed that the property manager has been running off tenants since last year.
Oregon: In Ashland, after 25 years Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant shutting down in July, after being for sale for more than a year. In Portland, after 13 years Tabor Czech style food stand shutting down so the owners can focus on the lower overhead cost business of catering. Food service contractor Aramark lost its contract with University of Oregon, an unspecified number of jobs will be affected by the end of June.
Pennsylvania: In Philadelphia, after 40 years Little Pete’s in ‘Center City’ shutdown due to the property being turned into a hotel. France based Sodexo lost its contract with Elk Regional Health Center- St. Mary’s/Penn Highlands, 51 jobs gone by the end of June. Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown two food distribution centers, killing 503 jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K!
South Carolina: Bi-Lo shutting down its grocery store in Fort Mill when the lease expires. Local news media discovered there are nine Bi-Lo stores within 32km (20 miles) of Fort Mill.
South Dakota: In Sioux Falls, Pizza Patrol forced to shutdown because the greedy property owner sold the property.
Tennessee: Pinnacle Foods canceled production of Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast items, effectively shutting down its factory in Jackson, blaming skyrocketing food recalls. At least 2-hundred people out of work, local residents told news media the shutdown will have ripple effects with the local economy: “It’s going to be a big downfall for Jackson……We need to keep on growing instead of shutting down.”-Danny Gillard
Texas: Openly anti-Trump Kellogg’s (Kellogg Company) announced it will shutdown two food distribution centers, killing 421 jobs by mid-August, as part of Kellogg’s ongoing operation Special K! Beer distributor Capitol Wright Distributing shutting down two warehouses and killing 140 jobs by July! Administrators say the skyrocketing costs of maintaining/leasing properties is forcing them to consolidate operations into fewer warehouses. In Houston, Sullivan’s Steakhouse shutdown because the corporate owners could not renew the lease due to the property being re-developed. In Round Rock, after three years The Scarlet Rabbit shutdown, the owners claim they’re working on a new concept.
Vermont: In Montpelier, after 57 years Coffee Corner shutdown earlier than planned due to lack of employees.
Washington: State Fish and Wildlife shutdown the Spring chinook season early due to low numbers of the salmon. According to reports the actual numbers of chinook are half what was expected! Redhook shutting down its Woodinville brewery due to lack of use.
Wisconsin: In Madison, 4&20 Bakery & Cafe shutdown due to the sudden death of the owner, which caused an exodus of loyal employees. Roundy’s owned Pick n Save shutting down grocery stores in New Berlin, Pewaukee and Shawano, about 190 jobs lost in June, due to lack of sales. Roundy’s claims the employees can get jobs at other Pick n Save stores, however, the store in Shawano was the only Pick n Save there, the next nearest Pick n Save to Shawano is 56km (35 miles) away. Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese shutting down its six years old store/eatery in Egg Harbor, apparently no reason given. In Milwaukee, restaurant Hotch shutdown after 11 years due to the greedy landlord deciding to use the property for something else. The Milwaukee Record described the shutdown as “Another day, another east side closing”.
WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification
Pub: An arrogant British empire shortening of the term Public House, meaning a food establishment that is open to the general, non-royalty/non-nobility, public. In other words, pubs are for the lowly working class subjects of the empire.
U.S. Food Crisis, April 2017: “THIS IS USUALLY THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR. USUALLY WE’RE HIRING EXTRA HELP.” NOT THIS YEAR!