By Bill Parry
The Orchard Farmers Market, the gourmet food store located at 42-24 Greenpoint Ave., has closed.
The store, which opened in November 2010, offered a variety of specialized foods at the time. There was a deli section, sushi section and seafood area staffed by dedicated employees.
However, this weekend a group of people were cleaning out the store. All the heavy appliances, such as refrigeration units, were gone.
“The owner, he ran out of money,” said a worker, who did not want to identify himself. “We’re being paid to take away the garbage.”
The store was established by Okan Yukse, who lived in Sunnyside for six years and owned a similar gourmet market in New Jersey, in 2010.
However, in November 2011, Yukse said business was slow and placed an ad on Craigslist saying that he was a “very motivated” seller and that the “price has been reduced for a quick deal.” It was listed at $220,000.
Bob Patel, from Westchester, and a business partner, from Flushing, bought the business in March for an undisclosed amount. By this time, the store’s gourmet section had essentially gone.
Patel and his partner kept the name because new signage would be too expensive.
Arthur Weiner, the building’s landlord, couldn’t put his finger on what went wrong with the store but said, “I don’t think they calculated well. The first thing I told them was change the name.”
While Weiner hasn’t advertised the vacant space just yet, he’s already receiving phone calls from interested parties. “One guy wants to do a dental clinic, another wants to do a Peruvian chicken joint,” Weiner said adding, “at least the 99-cent stores aren’t calling; they usually come hot and heavy.”