The Garden Closes After 25 Years Citing Online Corporate Competition

The Garden closed on Friday after more than two decades in Greenpoint.

The local pioneering health food market and grocery store, The Garden (921 Manhattan Ave.) closed on Friday after 25 years on the corner of Kent Street and Manhattan Avenue citing the rise of online shopping and corporate chains.

The note on the front of The Garden on Friday morning.

A note taped to the front of The Garden on Friday morning stated:

“Dear customers.

After 25 years of serving our friends in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, yesterday was our last day of business-aptly Thanksgiving Day.

We are thankful for all of our loyal friends and customers, but as many small businesses today, online competition and corporate supermarket chains moving into our area, has forced us to make the tough decision to close our door.

Thank you to our neighbors, friends and customers who have supported us over our many years in business.”

The Garden is now closed.

The news of The Garden’s closure took customers by surprise as they flooded a Greenpointers Instagram post announcing the news with nearly 700 comments in four hours, with the vast majority of people lamenting how much they will miss having the market as a local access point for fresh food and groceries.

Natural Garden (750 Manhattan Ave.) closed in October.

A similarly named Manhattan Avenue independent grocery store, Natural Garden (750 Manhattan Ave.), closed at the beginning of October after approximately 17 years in the neighborhood. A former employee of Natural Garden also cited online shopping as a contributing factor for the business’s decline in sales.

On Friday afternoon, The Garden posted a note on Facebook further explaining the closure:

“It’s time to say goodbye and thank you. After 25 years in the neighborhood, we were losing business to both online shopping and big grocers who buy in huge quantities and can pass those savings on to their customers. While we always fought to keep prices as reasonable as we could, we just couldn’t compete; especially when dealing with local and organic produce.

We appreciate all of our friends and neighbors that supported us-both old and new. We will miss seeing you”


Whole Foods, which offers free delivery to Amazon Prime members, opened in North Williamsburg on Bedford Avenue in 2016. Delivery from the new Brooklyn Yard Wegmans, which opened last month, is also available via Instacart for an additional cost.

“Whole Foods isn’t even that close for many of us Greenpointers,” one woman responded to the Greenpointers announcement on Instagram. “I hate this. I will miss their soups, grilled chicken, dried mangos, and vegan pb bomb cake.”

 

 

 

About Greenpointers Staff

Greenpointers is a hyperlocal blog about Greenpoint, Brooklyn covering Ash to Apollo and everything in between.

13 Comments

  1. Andy says:

    I went through a period of being over-charged literally every single time I shopped there. So, I stopped shopping there. They went out of business because they were sneaky a-holes about their pricing. Also, their non-sneakiness of just straight up charging 20-25% more for everything compared to stores a block away. Who TF gets all their groceries online? FOH with that excuse. They forgot to mention that they spent like 8 years renting out and renovating a neighboring expansion that they never expanded to. Bye Felicia!

    Reply
    • Joel says:

      They are being sued by multiple employees for failure to pay wages! They are the sneakiest people in Greenpoint. Don’t believe a word of it.

      Reply
    • BB says:

      I actually had the opposite experience. I had just bought a couple of basic items like cider vinegar at Associated. I stopped at the Garden for something else and found the exact same products for less. I shopped there because their produce was better than the area grocery stores, quality hot food and great cakes. Just hope the new store replacing it is of the same quality without ridiculous prices. BTW, I know several people in the neighborhood who grocery shop almost exclusively online.

      Reply
    • Jim says:

      Oh shut up

      Reply
  2. shaz says:

    It’s a loss for the neighborhood.
    Lots of items not available in the nearby vcinity.
    I don’t believe that it was for lack of affluent customers
    in this growing & gentryfying area–
    most likely a personal issue with the owner instead.
    I feel fot the staff, especially at this time of year.
    Hope someone similar will take it over quickly,
    since the closing was sudden, with not even a closing sale to sell out
    the considerable stock.

    Reply
  3. shaz says:

    The multi-year elevator project at the G train Greenpoint Avenue station did not help. It blocked off much of the street space on this block. It really does a number on all the nearby stores. It’s a great addition for the elderly & moms with strollers, but when will it be completed?

    Reply
  4. paul says:

    I never was into their organic stuff, too expensive but was a regular patron of the hot bar and sandwich area which were more reasonably priced and hi quality.

    I am concerned re the loss of jobs of the many workers there mainly polish and hispanic immigrants.

    if you talk to five people they give you five different answer as to when, who, what will happen to the retail space. Supposedly it is supposed to open this wed dec 6 in some reincarnation of the old store. I will believe it when I see it.

    Reply
  5. Reginald says:

    I shopped at The Garden almost weekly when I lived in Williamsburg and drove from Park Slope perhaps monthly after I moved. But as Andy wrote, “I went through a period of being over-charged literally every single time I shopped there.” And it wasn’t just that I was over-charged, but the way in which the owners treated me like it was my mistake when I brought an item back. The Garden was in many ways a pricey specialty shop and that model can work in an ethnic-slash-gentrifying neighborhood, but not with shabby service.

    Reply
  6. Finn says:

    Such a sad loss for the community. The Garden was a great boost to the neighborhood when it opened 25 years ago. It inspired me to move back to the neighborhood. We will miss the great food and the kind friendly staff. So sorry to see you go. Our collective loss.

    Reply
  7. Karen says:

    Will miss The Garden! Was a great store. Would have been nice to know to say Goodbye to staff you get to know over the yrs. Good luck to them all! What will I eat now?? LOL [and Natural Garden. ]

    Reply
  8. Stanley says:

    I heard this was more of a labor dispute, that they did not pay their workers a living wage, sometimes under the table and sometimes below minimum wage. So the note they left is disingenuous.
    I also heard that they closed suddenly as a way to lay-off everyone at once at that it will basically be the same owners once it re-opens. This is all “heard from a friend who heard it from a friend” information, but worth investigating.
    Seems like something is for sure off about how they closed, the store was fully stocked the day before and seems like they would have had a week of specials or something to clear inventory and not waste food. Stores like that don’t just immediately close that way.

    Reply
  9. Bill says:

    I remember when they replaced Honig’s (?) Dept. Store. Time marches on.

    Reply
  10. Brad says:

    This was all a charade. They reopened under a different name and with all the same employees. They are even saying that they have the same ‘recipes’. They tried to play us for fools. this is ridiculous. It is the same store. These people are awful. It is why I turned to Amazon and Fresh Direct.

    Reply

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