Fresh Seasons Market, which announced plans to relocate earlier this month, is closing. The owners of the West Liberty grocery told their staff on Thursday afternoon, and are preparing for a going-out-of-business sale that begins on Saturday.
Jan DeMunnik, Fresh Seasons general manager, spoke with The Chronicle in early October about the planned move. Reached on Friday at the store, she said that at the time she couldn’t disclose the pending sale of the business. Lynda and Ben Stahl, who’ve owned Fresh Seasons for 15 years, were working on a deal to sell the grocery, she said, and the new owners had planned to relocate it. That deal fell through, however.
DeMunnik did not disclose the name of the potential buyer, or provide details about why the sale was called off.
The building at 2281 W. Liberty is owned by Gary Coleman, who sold the grocery business to the Stahls in the mid-1990s. When the Stahls decided not to renew their lease because of the pending sale, Coleman’s real estate broker – Jim Chaconas of Collier’s International – started advertising for a new tenant, which caused customers to inquire about the future of the market, DeMunnik said earlier this month. One Chronicle reader observed at the time that the store seemed in distress.
On Friday, DeMunnik said that their lease has ended but that they’re now paying a higher rate to stay until they can liquidate inventory. With items discounted 20% – including meat, produce and wine – they expect to be ready to close within two weeks.
The business employs about 15 people. DeMunnik said she doesn’t yet know what she’ll do after helping close the business. But she does know that she’ll miss the people she works with and the regulars who shop at the store.
“Our customers are like friends to us,” DeMunnik said. “That part is sad.”
Vendors are also scrambling to adjust. Jeff Renner has been delivering his “Best French Bread in Town” to Fresh Seasons since soon after the store opened. He told The Chronicle that he’s made arrangements to sell his bread at Arbor Farms, located around the corner from Fresh Seasons at 2103 W Stadium Blvd. Arbor Farms will start carrying the bread on Friday, Oct. 30, with deliveries Tuesdays through Fridays.