Fresh Seasons Market to Close

Going-out-of-business sale begins Saturday, Oct. 24.

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.

Section: Business

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  1. By Bob Martel
    October 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm | permalink

    This is a very sad day for me. I’ve been shopping at Fresh Seasons/Colemans for over 20 years.

  2. By Joan Kauffman
    October 24, 2009 at 11:12 am | permalink

    Fresh Season has been a generous neighbor to The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan. They’ve regularly donated their wonderful flowers which help make our space beautiful and welcoming. I’ll miss their wonderful salads and pleasant, helpful staff.

  3. By Kim Cumming
    October 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm | permalink

    Thank you for your years of business, Fresh Seasons. You’ve been such good neighbors to The Women’s Center. This is a sad day for us.

    I’ll miss your fresh salads and produce, your beautiful garden center, and your wonderful staff!

  4. By Jan Barney Newman
    October 25, 2009 at 12:04 am | permalink

    I’m really sad at this announcement. I’ve been shopping at Fresh Seasons since it was Coleman’s. Even after moving across town to the east side, I drove back to West Liberty to shop there. The comfortable size of the place, the really fresh produce, the variety of plants in the garden shop, the pleasant and helpful staff, and Jeff Renner’s bread will be sorely missed.

  5. By susan
    October 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm | permalink

    I was hoping this would not happen. I too have been shopping there for a long time and love the people as well. Ever since Plum Market moved in up the road, they took all the business that Fresh Seasons used to have. Between that, and the new Whole Foods market over by the mall, there are just too many bigger stores for the little guy to compete with. It makes me sad.

  6. By Laura
    October 25, 2009 at 8:12 pm | permalink

    I remember going to Coleman’s as a kid, I was mostly interested in the by-the-pound cookies they had. I love the plants and flowers at Fresh Season, but frequently the produce isn’t particularly fresh looking and the store doesn’t seem clean. Other than the garden plants (which will be missed), I didn’t have any reason to go there.

  7. By Bob
    October 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm | permalink

    I can only imagine that the west side Whole Foods had a big part in the closing of Fresh Seasons, taking away much of its business. Just another case of a corporate giant coming to town and killing local merchants.

  8. By Lenadams Dorris
    October 26, 2009 at 11:11 pm | permalink

    “Just another case of a corporate giant coming to town and killing local merchants.”

    No, just another case of disloyal, flighty, attention-deficit consumers who actively create the world they deserve to live in. Unfortunately, they often drag everyone else along, too.

  9. By Vivienne Armentrout
    October 27, 2009 at 7:07 am | permalink

    The good news is that Arbor Farms is right across the road (Stadium) and has been featuring local produce as well. They had a sign that they were accepting Fresh Seasons coupons and also they will now be selling those wonderful Jeff Renner baguettes. Still a local store.

  10. By suswhit
    October 27, 2009 at 8:43 am | permalink

    “disloyal, flighty, attention-deficit consumers who actively create the world they deserve to live in. Unfortunately, they often drag everyone else along, too.”

    So true and so well said. Especially the “actively create the world they deserve to live in” That applies in so many aspects of our lives.

  11. By jcp2
    October 27, 2009 at 9:33 am | permalink

    Those darned consumers! Why can’t they continue to shop at my hard to access store with limited selection and higher prices? How dare they look for something that works better for them! I was here first! First, I say! First!