Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of April, 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.
California: After 91 years the restaurant Genova Delicatessen shutdown its locations in Oakland and North Oakland, the family owners blame an increase in crime. The Fishwife’s Turtle Bay Taqueria shutting down its Monterey location. In Fresno, after 18 years mom&pop owned Uncle Harry’s New York Bagelry & Coffee House shutting down because the “…landlord based in New York was not interested in renewing our lease and preferred/desired a ‘national’ tenant instead.” Meadowbrook Meat Company shutting down its operations in Pleasanton and Tracy, 147 jobs gone between July and October (last month Meadowbrook announced the shutdown of its Ontario ops, 171 jobs lost in May)! JBS USA Food Company issued a shutdown WARN for its Commerce location, 34 jobs lost by the end of May. Food service contractor Sodexo issued a shutdown WARN for its ops in Davis, 136 jobs gone by the end of June!
Florida: Kendall based Pollo Tropical announced it will shutdown 30 restaurants in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas (in addition to the ten they’ve already shutdown). In Gainesville, Alico Citrus Nursery suddenly laid off 31 people.
Georgia: Atlanta based Coca-Cola announced it will kill 1-thousand-2-hundred jobs in the second half of 2017! Are crashing sales because of anti-soda taxes? In Atlanta, Vine & Tap wine bar shutdown without warning after only three years, due to owner’s family health problems.
Idaho: An estimated 100 million pounds of spoiled onions have been disposed of in Idaho and Oregon following a winter of unprecedented snowfall.
Eastern Idaho potato growers are at least a week behind normal, and even further behind compared to their early starts the past two seasons. He believes the odds of repeating last season’s bumper spud and grain crops are growing longer.
Illinois: McCain Foods USA, Inc. announced it is voluntarily recalling frozen hash brown products that may be contaminated with extraneous golf ball material. (In 2002, the University of Idaho created a guide on “Managing Foreign Material for Quality Idaho Potatoes” in which golf balls were featured as a “common foreign material found in potatoes,” alongside bones, light bulbs, manure, shot gun shells and irrigation equipment.) Food Service Professionals issued a shutdown WARN for its Flossmoor ops, 134 jobs lost by August! Red Bull laid off 32 people in Chicago, no reason given. In Hinsdale, wine seller Village Cellar shutting down when the inventory is gone because the local government nabobs refused a new expanded booze license. The maker of food products for Tony Roma’s and Butchers Prime, Rupari Foods, now bankrupt busted and supposedly sold to competing food processor Carl Buddig.Grocery store supplier Central Grocers suddenly laid off 29 warehouse workers in Joliet. Former employees told local news media that something is wrong because “This is usually the busiest time of the year. Usually we’re hiring extra help.” As well as putting itself up for sale, Central Grocers is also shutting down and selling-off seven Ultra Foods grocery stores, at least 8-hundred Ultra Foods jobs lost by mid-June ! The grocery employee union has sued Central Grocers in an attempt to stop the sale of the business.
Indiana: In Evansville, after 30 years Fred’s Bar and Grill shutting down by mid-May, sounds like it’s due to property redevelopment.
Iowa: Grocery chain Hy-Vee threatened 60 HQ workers with layoffs unless they accepted reassignment to lower level jobs. Administrators blamed it on a rapidly changing grocery market. Save-a-Lot shutting down its Dubuque grocery store by mid-May, because it wasn’t worth it to renew the lease.
Kentucky: In Covington, Piccolo Casa (formerly NuVo) stopped serving lunch and will shutdown in May, no reason given.
Maryland: Quincy’s Bar & Grille chapter 11 bankrupt busted, the bar & grill was shutdown six weeks before the bankruptcy filing. Besides the usual debts, Quincy’s owner owes the landlord more than $73-thousand USD in rent. After 25 years Lenny’s Deli shutdown, the owners lamented to local news media about a time when business was booming. Tian’s Teriyaki shutdown so the owner could return to China.
Massachusetts: Cumberland Farms sold-off and shutdown its small Greenfield grocery store on Main Street.
Minnesota: In Duluth, after 29 years booze seller Lake Superior Bottle Shop secretly sold to make room for taxpayer funded housing development. In Le Center, after less than one year The Lunchbox shutting down in July, due to not being able to renew the lease. The building owner also revealed that it’s up for sale. In Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area two PizzaRev restaurants shutdown after only three years.
Mississippi: In Gulfport, Winn Dixie shutting down its grocery store on East Pass Road.
Montana: In Great Falls, the Pizza Baron shutdown and the building is for sale, the owner say he doesn’t have time to run it anymore due to focusing on his other more profitable businesses.
Nevada: In Las Vegas, after only two years the world’s largest Hooters restaurant (more than 5-hundred seats) shutting down in May. In Reno, after five years Wedge Cheese Shop shutdown due to a 25% rent increase, the owner Laura Conrow explained why she didn’t just move: “….I was so tired, I couldn’t take on another thing. Basically, the only option was to close.”
New Jersey: In Atlantic Highlands, after 32 years the Memphis Pig Out shutdown, with the long time owners exclaiming “We are ecstatic to be free of all the responsibilities of owning a business!”
New York: In Pine City, after 134 years (surviving The Great Depression and two World Wars) Shepard’s Market shutdown due to the current owner’s health problems and the fact that nobody wanted to takeover the family run grocery store. In West Hurley, Hurley Ridge Market has been sold, the new owner (HR Market) is shutting it down, 60 jobs lost in July. The Fresh Market in Woodbury shutting down due to economic reasons, 47 jobs lost between May and July. Openly anti-Trump Kellogg Snacks
shutting down its Orangeburg and Hauppauge Distribution Centers, 41 jobs lost between July and August due to a sudden crash in sales after Trump was elected.
North Carolina: With short notice Food Lion shutdown its 20 years old store in Mills River saying it wasn’t worth it to renew the lease, 40 jobs lost.
North Dakota: In Fargo, after 37 years Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream shutdown, supposedly due to problems finding competent employees.
Ohio: In Girard, after 14 years Daffin’s Candies suddenly shutdown blaming lack of sales. Marsh shutting down its grocery store in Colerain, as part of plans by Marsh to shutdown ten grocery stores in the next month (supposedly due to lack of sales). Chad Anthony’s Italian Grill & Pub shutdown its Salem and Boardman locations, due to lack of sales.
Oregon: In Portland, Bridgeport Brewery suddenly laid off 13 people due to skyrocketing competition in the craft brewery industry.
Pennsylvania: New taxes being blamed for crashing soda sales, causing Coca-Cola to layoff 40 people in Philadelphia.
South Carolina: In Columbia, after 16 years El Burrito forced to shutdown by a California based REIT which bought up the area’s commercial properties.
Texas: In Dallas, after decades Über-popular El Corazon de Tejas (Tejano, El Chico) suddenly sold-off and will shutdown so the building can be torn down. In Houston, Red Ox Bar & Grill shutdown on short notice, apparently losing their lease to another restaurant.
Virginia: Martin’s Food Market (Martin’s Food & Drug Stores) announced it is eliminating 487 jobs and shutting down four stores between June and July! This is on top of the seven stores already shutdown and 1-thousand-110 people already rendered jobless! It’s directly connected to the takeover of Martin’s by Florida based competitor Publix Super Markets. With short notice Food Lion shutdown its 20 years old store in Roanoke (on Williamson Road) saying it wasn’t worth it to renew the lease. In Lynchburg, after four years Hill City House Grill suddenly shutdown due to government plans to use the property as part of a new connector road to Route 501.
Wisconsin: In Madison, Copps grocery store shutdown affecting 76 jobs, as a result of a decision by the owner Roundy’s, which in turn is owned by Kroger. Kroger-Roundy’s administrators said the Copps chain of grocery stores is losing money.
WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification
REIT=Real Estate Investment Trust
U.S. Food Crisis, March 2017: “YOU HAVE TO WORK ONE JOB TO PAY TO WORK ANOTHER”