Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of February, 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.
While I don’t like most of the crazy stuff the folks at PETA do, they have compelling evidence that those ‘free range’ poultry products you buy at Walmart, Harris Teeter and Whole Foods are anything but:
Alabama: A female employee of Dothan’s Farm Service Agency charged with fraud, theft of government property, and using a false document, relating to crop insurance. Pike Road Butcher Block suddenly shutdown due to “small town politics”, the landlord is the town of Pike Road.
Alaska: Hook Line and Sinker-Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse now chapter 11 bankrupt busted. It’s blamed on a massive re-development project (gentrification) which left Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse with millions of dollars of debt.
California: In The Golden State that loves migrant workers “A Soledad farm labor contractor has been fined $168,082 in penalties for housing employees in unsanitary and dangerous conditions following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.” New York based Seneca Foods shutdown its factory in Modesto, 265 full-time jobs suddenly gone due to “competition from overseas”! DineEquity owned, Gelndale based, schizophrenic IHOP shutting down 40 restaurants in 2018, while at the same time claiming they will open even more restaurants. Cafe Napa Valley Traditions forced to shutdown after 24 years by a huge rent increase. San Francisco based coffee roaster Four Barrel began laying off employees due to crashing wholesale orders. K and R Farms shutting down operations in Salinas, 235 jobs gone by April! CKE Restaurant Holdings (aka Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito and Red Burrito) eliminating 54 jobs in Anaheim, by mid-April. Freshly Picked issued a shutdown WARN for its Cypress location, 26 jobs gone in March. After 25 years non-profit animal rescue op Farm Sanctuary-Orland Shelter shutdown, the owners got the hell outta The Golden State and took the 250+ animals to a new 39 hectares (96 acres) ranch in New York. In San Luis Obispo, after three years popular Bowl’d shutting down because the owners say the profits just aren’t high enough to cover the rent. In Fresno, Parsley Garden Cafe suddenly shutdown due to not being able to renew the lease. Tyson Foods killing yet more jobs as it issues another WARN, this time 401 people in Otay Mesa out-o-work as the frozen food factory is shutdown! Oregon based New Seasons Market suddenly shutdown its six months old grocery store in Sunnyvale saying “This location proved to be a challenge for several reasons”, 101 jobs gone! Connecticut based food service company Centerplate issued a mass layoff WARN, 759 Levi’s Stadium jobs in Santa Clara gone by mid-April! TGI Friday’s issued a shutdown WARN for a restaurant in Brea, 57 jobs gone by mid-April. In Modesto, the 25 years old Hometown Buffet was suddenly shutdown by a greedy landlord who canceled the lease. After 60 years Menlo Park’s Oasis Beer Garden shutting down by March because of the greedy landlord: “After several months of effort, we were unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building’s owner.”-facebook post
Colorado: In Fort Collins, employee owned New Belgium Brewing suddenly laid off 28 employees (25 in Colorado, three in North Carolina). It’s probably due to increasing competition as local news sources reported that in Denver alone four new breweries have opened in the past four months!
Connecticut: Iconic Woody’s hot dog joint shutdown after 41 years so the owners can take a vacation, before their next business venture.
Florida: Bi-Lo owned, Jacksonville based, Winn Dixie shutting down 2-hundred grocery stores in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy, thousands of jobs lost! In Fort Pierce, Granny’s shutdown after 53 years, the worn-out owners saying “We are going to sit on the front porch and rest…..I think we deserve it.” Hard Rock Cafe issued a shutdown WARN for its HQ in Orlando, 184 jobs gone between April and July!
Georgia: Atlanta based Coca Cola eliminating even more jobs, this time an additional 350 corporate level jobs! At the same time Coca Cola administrators swear they are hiring. Kroger shutting down a 26 years old grocery store, on the south side of Savannah, more than 1-hundred jobs gone in March due to “declining sales and negative profit” (‘negative profit’ is Orwellian doublespeak for losses). Local news reports said customers were shocked as the store is “always packed”, but also admitted there were now a lot of competitors in the area.
Hawaii: The Shack suddenly shutdown its 26 years old Hawaii Kai location, the owners were not able to renew the lease.
Idaho: Blind Bat News reader reported that the Pita Pit, in Pocatello, shutdown without warning.
Illinois: In Chicago, after 41 years iconic Carson’s Prime Steaks Famous BBQ forced to shutdown by property developers. Also in Chicago, Marcello’s suddenly shutdown one of its three pizza joints, no official reason given but property redevelopment (gentrification) is suspected. In Downers Grove, after 15 years restaurant Carlucci suddenly shutdown, the property was sold. In Belleville, IHOP shutting down its 45 years old restaurant, on Carlyle Avenue, because the local franchise owner is retiring and nobody wanted to take-over the franchise. In Crystal Lake, Joseph’s Marketplace shutdown after 12 years, no official explanation, but residents and even city leaders blame it on several new grocery stores that have opened since 2015: “I’m not sure we can support all these stores. Obviously, we can’t.”-Judi Spizzirri, customer
Iowa: Hy-Vee shutting down its grocery store in Waterloo, 282 jobs gone by the end of March because Hy-Vee built too many grocery stores in the region!
Louisiana: In New Orleans, Lakeview Harbor Restaurant forced to shutdown after 25 years because the landlord revoked the lease. Non-profit Hollygrove Market & Farm suddenly shutdown saying “We are reorganizing financially and will have another announcement about our permanent status as soon as possible.” It was later revealed they ran out of money. Internet based food delivery service Street Breads now chapter 11 bankrupt busted due to debts that far outweigh its assets.
Maine: Somebody is going around and shooting people’s goats and shooting cows.
Massachusetts: In Arlington, after a couple of decades Bagels By Us shutting down in March, the property is for sale.
Michigan: In Brighton, after 35 years iconic ice cream shop Yum Yum Tree suddenly shutdown, on facebook the owners promised a detailed explanation would be released. Angry customers said they should have given at least a month notice so they could fatten up on the unique ice cream treats. In Ostego, after 70 years Harding’s (Harding and Hill) shutdown, no reason given.
Minnesota: Colorado based Pilgrim’s Pride shutting down a former Gold’n Plump corporate office in Saint Cloud, 30 jobs gone due to Pilgrim’s Pride $350-million USD take-over of Gold’n Plump in 2016-17. In Saint Paul, after 20 years the Wild Onion shutting down in March, the owner blamed reduced revenues and increased costs such as minimum wage. In Duluth, after 14 years Johnson’s Bakery Lakeside shutting down by the end of April, due to not being able to renew the lease. In Minneapolis, after more than 60 years the last Vescio’s Italian Restaurant shutdown. At one time there were two Vescio’s. Bellisio Foods issued a WARN, 105 jobs in Austin gone by April!
Missouri: DineEquity owned, Kansas City based, Applebee’s added an additional 80 restaurants to its previously announced plan to shutdown 1-hundred restaurants in 2018, due to “lack of performance”. In Kansas City, after 54 years upscale Plaza III The Steakhouse shutting down in March, 30 jobs lost with no explanation by the owners. Pi Pizzeria suddenly shutdown its Kirkwoood location due to gentrification (construction projects) destroying the employee parking lot: “…we’ve lost our employee parking lot due to a redevelopment, and that leaves us with fewer than 25 guest parking spots…”-facebook post
Montana: In Missoula, after 27 years Uptown Diner shutdown, crashing sales were blamed on the demise of the Macy’s store next door.
Nebraska: C & C Specialty Market shutting down its store in Beatrice, in April, so the owners can focus on their more profitable operations.
New Jersey: In Freehold, International Vitamin eliminating 160 jobs in May!
New Mexico: In Albuquerque, the once profitable Farmers Market chain is now dead. Local news media say at one time there were ten Farmers Markets in New Mexico: “We’ve always had competition, but in the last five to seven years, it was much harder.”-Jhett Browne, owner of the last Farmers Market
New York: In NYC, 21-Club revealed to state officials that they suddenly shutdown back in January, 156 jobs suddenly gone, blamed on Mother Earth (climate change-storm damage)! Also in NYC, Siggy’s Good Food suddenly shutdown, the owner saying “…it’s time to fly.” JJC Food suddenly shutdown its Hicksville grocery store, 38 jobs gone, blamed on Mother Earth (climate change-storm damage)! Williamsville based Tops Friendly Markets now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, blaming increased competition. GLK Foods shutting down ops in Shortsville, 50 jobs gone in September due to consolidation. In Rochester, after almost 20 years restaurant 2-Vine shutdown due to the owner’s health problems. PepsiCo eliminating 2-hundred corporate level InfoTech and finance jobs in Westchester, as part of its global plan to kill jobs. Local news media revealed that PepsiCo (Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Gatorade, Quaker) was getting $4-million USD in state taxpayer funded credits and another $7-million from sales-tax breaks in Westchester County!
North Carolina: Charlotte based Healthy Home Market grocery chain now chapter 7 bankrupt and being consumed by its creditors, its last two stores were shutdown in January, thousands of jobs lost! In Monroe, after 25 years Seacrest Feed & Seed shutting down by March, due to the greedy property owners. Logan’s Roadhouse suddenly shutdown due to a “corporate decision”.
North Dakota: In Bismarck, Dan’s Supermarket shutdown after 65 years, due to not being able to renew the lease.
Ohio: A fire in a barn on Country Lane Tree Farm killed dozens of goats and chickens.
Pennsylvania: After almost 50 years Mattocks Five Incorporated suddenly shutdown several operations (known as Albion Mill, Meadville Farm and Garden, 5M Feeds Waterford, 5M Feeds Titusville) with only a two days notice on facebook, and no explanation. In Ardmore, Chung Sing forced to shutdown by the end of March, due to the landlord canceling the lease. In Pittsburgh, BYOB restaurant Avenue B shutdown due to not being able to renew the lease. “The Greater Washington County Food Bank reports on its website that Washington County has an estimated 25,000 people who are food insecure, more than 30 percent of its clients are children under the age of 18 and 20 percent are senior citizens.”
Despite supplying restaurants with poultry for more than ten years, family run Quails R Us Plus facing foreclosure, several area chefs are holding a ‘rescue dinner’ to save the poultry farm.
South Carolina: Florida based Tijuana Flats shutting down its less than two years old restaurant on Percival Road, in Columbia, by March. Terrace Restaurants suddenly shutdown its Greenville location, after being open less than a year, due to lack of sales.
Tennessee: In Murfreesboro, after more than two years Sub Stop suddenly shutdown because the owners got an offer from a property developer they couldn’t refuse. After ten years in East Nashville, Pied Piper Eatery shutdown as a result of the owner’s death two years ago.
Texas: In Pflugerville, after one year Idle Vine Brewery shutting down by March. In Austin, after 45 years Buck Moore Feed & Supply shutdown. Bellisio Foods shutting down its factory in Austin. Kettle & Brine shutdown its brick-n-mortar store in Austin, will continue selling kitchen krap online. In San Angelo, after 30 years Chinese Kitchen shutdown, the overworked underpaid owner complained “It has been extremely hard to get workers for the restaurant……..working 14 hours for seven days a week is hard on my husband and me.” After seven years Grinners Daiquiri Bar shutdown due to not being a good ‘fit’ for San Angelo.
Virginia: After more than 35 years Frankie’s Place for Ribs shutdown without warning, die-hard fans were shocked, the owner blamed declining sales and increasing costs. In Richmond, after less than five years Kitchen on Cary suddenly shutdown. A poultry farm fire in Mount Vernon killed an estimated 14-thousand chicks!
Washington: In Spokane, after 20 years Wolf Creek Lodge Steakhouse suddenly shutdown. Marine View Beverage shutting down operations across the state, 278 jobs gone by mid-April! Pacific Seafood issued a shutdown WARN, 69 Federal Way jobs gone by the end of April.
Washington DC: Le Mano Coffee Bar shutdown after almost five years, the owner wants more family time. After nine years award winning chocolate restaurant Co Co Sala suddenly shutdown. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns “…a relatively strong U.S. dollar is expected to dampen growth in U.S. agricultural exports, the United States remains competitive in global agricultural markets, in part due to efficiency and quality margins, and export values grow over the next ten years. Net farm income is expected to increase in 2018 followed by a drop…”
Wisconsin: After 110 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) Silver Spring House Bar & Restaurant suddenly shutdown, the property is for sale, asking price $1.2-million USD. For the fifth year in a row income for Wisconsin farmers is expected to be down from the record high in 2013.
WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification
U.S. Food Crisis, January 2018: “IT’S TIME TO ADAPT OR DIE”