Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Final sale at Highland Park grocery store

After holding a close out sale, the owners of Figueroa Produce in Highland Park officially closed the doors of the small, independent grocery store this week. Today, the store was closed and will not reopen. The owners opened Figueroa Produce in the shopping center at York Boulevard and Figueroa Street about five years just as the economy began to falter. The space was put up for lease earlier this year as the store struggled to attract shoppers and the owners tried to negotiate a lower rent.

“He placed the space on the market behind our backs,” said co-owner Ruben Perez of the landlord. “Collectively, we all decided to shut down and move on.”

Perez, whose son operates Organix market in Eagle Rock, said he plans to take a break from the business before trying to open another store nearby under a new name.

“I am trending towards ‘York Produce’ should a recent space and negotiations on York come together,” he said in an email.”It will still be a while before we re open. We will take a slight break, rejuvenate and start all over.”

Related Link:

  • Figueroa Produce closes its doors. Patch

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  1. I know it’s natural to point the finger elsewhere – it’s the economy’s fault, it’s the greedy landlord’s fault, it’s the neighborhood’s fault for eating lard (as I just read him saying on Patch) – but I hope Mr. Perez has also learned some lessons about how he runs his business, and that ultimately, it’s his fault that a whole lot of people, myself included, had to give up on it, rotten produce and all. Maybe next time don’t put the word Produce in the name.

    Also, Fresco opened mid-recession, and is – from what I can tell – doing quite well. Study in contrasts right there.

    • Fresco opened with deeper pockets and then got a multimillion dollar boost from investors. Different story. The lesson that needs to be learned by the community, if that if you want fresher anything from you local grocer, support it.

  2. I wish them luck! I know they tried to bring healthy food to the neighborhood. Yes, they could have run it better, but I have never run a grocery store so I don’t like to judge until I have walked in the shoes of a grocery store owner. I DO think they should be commended for TRYING.

  3. Hope he finds a new space on York.

  4. There’s a great space in Echo Park right next to the Walgreens at Sunset & Echo Park Bl. It was a neighborhood market but has been vacant for years. The space was considered by Fresh & Easy before their current financial woes. We need a upscale neighborhood market in Echo Park…You’d get lots of business around here!

  5. Andrea, there’s a great market/grocer (chinese, but has lots of “normal” stuff), good quality, reasonable prices, service is a tiny bit cold though helpful. located between Laveta Terrace and Portia on the north side of Sunset, it’s called A-Grocery Warehouse.

  6. Last time I went in Figueora Produce was about 8 months ago. On my way home. Wanted bok choy. The place was dark/dim inside on a sunny Sunday. Bok Choy soft and wilted. Looked gross. Prices were high. I spent a few minutes looking around. No one said hello. Didn’t see anything I would buy.

    I thought, “I don’t get it”. Why do people rave about this place? Why would anyone even shop here? Super King is mobbed and messy. Fresh & Easy has a limited selection as does Trader Joe’s. Super A is a ways away, but still, “Why would anyone shop HERE? was the thought. Oh, well, I am just hip enough, or something.

    I just never went back to Figueroa Produce.

  7. Fresco took our business. At first it was simply because it was much closer, but after a while it was clear that they were better equipped to supply fresh produce.

  8. I refuse to hide my happiness that Figueroa Produce is closed. At what point are the people who open and operate businesses responsible for their own product’s demise? Why does the strip mall owner/lanlord of the strip mall they’re in have to work with them on ANY kind of a break on the rent? (When in fact they already had according to a previous story) At what point don’t you as a business owner step back and take a look at your efforts and decide they’re really up to where they need to be to get clientele to come in and become “regulars”?

    Yes, I’ve been in approximately a dozen times. Yes, there was a definite decline in the quality of the produce, cleanliness and the quality of customer service from my first visit to my last. So because of this I took my business elsewhere. Now, is it my fault that because I had bad experiences and decided not to go back that I’m not supporting green and local and their business faltered? And is it the landlord’s fault that he’s not helping their failing business stay afloat because he refuses renegotiate on their rent even though he has his own business (the strip mall itself) to run and can potentially get a better client in that space?

    just the statement that he “placed the space on the market behind our backs” should give an indication of how completely out of touch and “head in the clouds” the people who run Fig Produce really are. Your business is failing, your constantly trying to renegotiate rent with the owner just to stay open and you’re actually shocked that they would start to try to find other businesses to fill your spot?

    Ridiculous. Good riddance. Hopefully the next business that opens there will spend more time making their endeavour work and less time looking for handouts and making excuses as to why they fail.

  9. Maybe Figueroa Produce could write the landlord a nice letter. Here’s what I would write:

    Dear Landlord: I hope you lettuce stay in our currant location. (Currants are like raisins, folks.) Please don’t squash our attempts to run a business. When this news leeks out to the community, they’ll be berry sad. If you carrot would be great – or, dare I say, peachy. Olive you forever. Sincerely, — Figueroa Produce

  10. Have to agree with everyone.

    Three times (0ut of probably a dozen visits) the owner of Frescos, who is great, came up to me to make a small comment or to talk about some item I was buying. This never happened at FigPro and the store is 1/10th its size! That is usually what small stores have going for them, to be able to talk to the customers or at least acknowledge that you are in there. So I instead went to Fresco more and more….

  11. The team behind Figueroa Produce needs to figure out that being considerate to the customer helps. Their last tweet was to a customer a few days ago, responding to a question about being closed, that they were in fact ‘not closing’; yet they closed a few days later. It seems like there is a common theme of disrespect here. Considering they associate with/run another local market, Organix, you’d think they would care about upholding a respectable reputation or saving face somehow.

  12. Good luck to them. They were a force for good in the neighborhood. I wish the owners well.

  13. I live near there, I have money, I love to eat healthy. I never went back after a couple of times.

    This store was poorly run period. Way overpriced, not enough selection, outdated goods, and on and on.

    All one has to do is go to any corner store Bodega in NYC to see how this kind of store should be run and with a 1/3 or the space and probably more selection.

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