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Sunnyside Post

Sunnyside NY news

Orchard Farmers Market closes

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.”

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33 Responses »

  1. Bring in Hooters!

  2. It’s very easy to see what went wrong. The store offered nothing new or of value to the neighborhood. You can get better and cheaper produce at the Green Market on the corner of 42nd/ Greenpoint, cheaper groceries at any of the 3 grocery stores within a 5 block radius, and better prepared foods at any bakery or restaurant nearby. If it focused on quality prepared foods made on site similar to Butcher Block then maybe it could have worked out.

  3. The description “There was a deli section, sushi section and seafood area” sounds wonderful but it looked awful. Everything looked stale. It’s unfortunate because it’s a nice space but nothing in the store was appealing.

  4. there was never any decent produce – just looked like what was scraped from the bottom of the barrel — cakes covered in wrap means their old and overpriced!

  5. When the original owners of Orchard opened up, the place was great. Best sushi in the area and higher end foods. I haven’t even been in since the new owners took over though. The place looks disasterous.

    The place I think showed a lot of promise, but I agree it was a bit pricey. I agree that they should have focused their menu a bit more.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Peruvian chicken, but don’t we have like 5 of those places at least?

  6. Unfortunately for this store, Food Town was right across the street and down the other end of the block Associated had already expanded and was featuring more high end “gourmet” items.

  7. I agree with the other posters here….hopefully the new tenant will have better luck

  8. I hate to see anyone go out of business. Problem was that it was “more of the same” there are many grocery stores, vegetable stands, and supermarkets in the Sunnyside area. Competition was “stiff” and the economy is “tight”

  9. Landlord turning down 99c store business? That’s a first.. I don’t think he cares, does he even live in the neighborhood?

  10. Welcome to Obama’s economy

  11. Arbys should open in this location

  12. @Patriot

    What you said is correct. Small businesses are going to be slammed hardest now that obamacare is being implemented. The ones that don’t go under will shed employees and the ones they do keep will only get 30 hours a week. There’s your “free” health care.

  13. Nothing is “free” – we the taxpayers, will pay for Obamacare. Maybe the new lady from Sunnyside Shines can help with the empty space? She can put in a super nail cutting emporium!

  14. @86mets
    Sorry ..but you are late. There are now 2 major supermarkets in the area. Foodtown is closing. I was informed by a deli worker yesterday. They did not have my usual deli items. I will be cashing out my points for gas cards soon.
    Once again the post is late in giving out news.

  15. Julia, I believe the Orchard Farms location is outside the area served by Sunnyside Shines.

  16. @OM

    You might be right even though the Orchard Market is about a 30 second walk from the Sunnyside Shines office. Maybe the first task of the new director should be to redefine geographical boundaries vis-a-vis local commerce.

    The post office has an odd take on what neighborhood is what but no need to follow their lead.

  17. 86 Mets

    I’m under the impression that businesses have to JOIN the BID. And that the more successful shops on like, Skillman and Queens blvd are just more likely to join, not that there’s actual districting going on.

  18. it sucks that this place closed down, but i hope something new and original takes its place.

  19. It would be great to get a bookstore or an art store in the neighborhood….something we don’t already have!

  20. @OM @86Mets @Krissi

    Sunnyside Shines does have borders, as per their site:
    “Sunnyside Shines covers all properties fronting Queens Boulevard from 38th St. to 49th St., Greenpoint Avenue from 43rd St. to 48th St., and South Roosevelt Avenue from 48th St. to 49th St.”
    http://www.sunnysideshines.org/about-us

    Businesses do have to pay dues to officially be part of a BID, but they still have a defined district.

    So technically Orchard (42-24 Greenpoint) is right outside the boundaries of Sunnyside Shines, while Skillman, as far as I know, is not part of a BID.

  21. too bad, foodtowns closing in dec
    hey, what kind of freakin advice is “change the name”
    landlords are idiots

  22. That should be a bike shop

  23. good thing we got the hipster grrrl coming from Greenpoint to save us! yay!!

  24. What does a BID do that the chamber of commerce doesn’t?

  25. I was told that the landlord wanted to raise the rent of Foodtown from $35 to $50 thousand a month, plus he also wanted them to renovate the store as part of the new lease. This is the same landlord who owns the stores across the street from Foodtown, that have been vacant for years. I intend to call Jimmy Van Bramer’s to see if he can intervene in some capasity.This is a great little supermarket, with friendly staff.Lots of our local yongsters have worked here partime whiles attending high school and college throughout the years.

  26. Arthur Weiner the building’s landlord is also Sunnyside Shines Bid board of directors treasurer.

  27. I wasn’t aware that Weiner was the landlord of Foodtown. Is he really?

    In any case, having been unfortunate enough to enter Nelson’s Christmas shoppe years ago, I can say that he and his wife are the most obnoxious, foul-mouthed individuals I’ve ever encountered. Former employees and people who have shopped there that I have spoken to say the same thing.

  28. I remember the first article on Patel buying the business, and he clearly stated all successful Indian businessmen have the last name Patel. I guess he was wrong

  29. See! I have such a good memory

    -If Patel sounds like he has a strong business acumen, it might be because of where he’s from. “Kujarat, India. Anytime you find a good Indian-owned business in this country the last name of the owner is Patel and they’re from the Kujarat area. Stores, restaurants, hotels — all Patel.”

  30. Have to laugh at this landlord Arthur Weiner (winer)saying he could’nt put his finger on what went wrong-well I can Artie boy,the exorbitant rent and regulations you saddled the store renters with had a lot to do with it. ” I told them to change the sign” sounds as belivable as Susan Rice saying a stupid video was responsible for Benghazi.

  31. I supported our candate for election to the president Mitt Romney. Im sorry for the people that helped realect that do nothing occupier of the W.H. Wait until you and I have to pay more in taxes in 2013 and the 47% will grow to over 50% all you retires on s.s. and medicare will have to pay more or get less services in the years coming. The proof in the democratic party of how out of touch they are with the people is how the city,state and federal hav ent voted on a budget in years. but as I said about the election nothing has change only the date from Nov.6 to Nov7 and remember “YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW” so enjoy.

  32. @Celticparker

    If the the tenant agreed to Weiner’s exhorbitant rent as you state, then he was a fool and probably not a very astute businessman.

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