New York’s once-robust indie grocery scene continues the very sad decay into a shell of its former self. Hometown chains with proud slogans like Fairway (“Like No Other Market”) and D’Agostino (“New York’s Original Grocer”) have either collapsed or been forced to take handouts, and today the New York Post adds a newbie to that list. It reports 22-year-old gourmet marketplace chain Garden of Eden has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company’s filing explains that its three locations, all in Manhattan, experienced “a historic lack of patronage” this year. Rock bottom came this summer, a notorious dry spell in the retail world, once the chain couldn’t recover after falling behind on payments to creditors and landlords.
The Post notes this is a change from Garden of Eden’s situation in 2014, when it was busy trying to raise $5 million for a five-store expansion. The company never had more than six stores, but that number had dwindled in recent years to three. The chain’s demise must mean Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis, the billionaire grocer who just swooped in and saved D’Agostino, has all the high-end deli meat and heirloom vegetables he needs right now.