Earth Fare announces all stores, including the one in Viera, will be closing
Earth Fare, an organic grocery store that opened in Viera last year, is closing.
The Asheville, North Carolina,-based grocer said Monday in a press release that it would be closing all its stores.
Employees have been notified of the closure, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The company will continue to pursue a sale of assets, according to the release.
Earth Fare's closing follows last week's announcement that Lucky's Markets across the country would be closing. Brevard County's only Lucky's Market, located in West Melbourne, is one of seven in the Colorado-based grocery chain that will remain open.
Earth Fare opened on Viera Boulevard in January 2019 and gained a following for its organic offerings, Wednesday sushi specials and its hot food bar.
According to the press release, Earth Fare has begun inventory liquidation sales of all its merchandise, including store fixtures.
The company had implemented strategic initiatives aimed at growth and expansion and enhancing the customer experience, according to the press release.
"While many of these initiatives improved the business, continued challenges in the retail industry impeded the company's progress as well as its ability to refinance its debt," the release said. "As a result, Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis. As such, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to commence inventory liquidation sales while we continue to engage in a process to find potential suitors for our stores."
Earth Fare has 50 stores across the Southeast and Midwest, including 14 in Florida.
"Earth Fare has been proud to serve the natural and organic grocery market, and the decision to begin the process of closing our stores was not entered into lightly," according to the release. "We'd like to thank our Team Members for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers, and our vendors and suppliers for their partnership."
Members of FLORIDA TODAY's food-centric Facebook group, 321 Flavor: Where Brevard Eats, reacted to the news quickly, many expressing disappointment.
"Our favorite store," wrote Tom Tyczkowski. "We drive 15 miles to shop there. Best meat in the area!"
"I am so disappointed to see it go," Diane Dobish wrote. "But, not as much as their employees must be. Terrific organic produce selection."
Others echoed the plea for Whole Foods or Trader Joe's to move to the Space Coast.
"Maybe Trader Joe’s would take over the space," wrote Rebecca Sutterby.
"Dang we love them," Erin Elizabeth wrote about Earth Fare. "It is one of the most affordable places to get organic produce. They have BOGO on fruit and veg every single week. Very sad to see this go. Maybe we will finally get a Whole Foods."
Calls for information about when the stores will close were not immediately returned.
This story is developing. Check back later for more information.
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