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Orchard Farmers Market for Sale

Photo: QueensPost

Dec. 7, 2011 Staff Report

Orchard Farmers Market, a gourmet grocery store that opened on Greenpoint Avenue in November 2010, is now for sale.

The owners of the store, located at 42-24 Greenpoint Ave., have listed the business on Craigslist at $220,000 (plus inventory). However, they say they are “very motivated” sellers and that the “price has been reduced for a quick deal.”

Orchard took over the location that was once occupied by Nelsons Christmas Shoppe.

The store currently offers a deli section, sushi section, poultry section and seafood area each staffed by a dedicated employee. Other items include hot soup, and a variety of coffees, jams, olives, nuts, and produce.

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42 Comments

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Melissa

I must agree with those that said they would have shopped more at Orchard if it offered something different than what could be found at the local grocery stores. I was disappointed even before they opened when I saw the boxed up, mass-produced, produce arrive. I thought it was going to be a farmers’ market — since that’s what they named the place!

The first few weeks they were open I went in from time to time, looking for things like dry mustard, or pear-infused vinegar — neither of which they stocked. I found them on the shelves of the Foodtown. It’s not the economy — I don’t have much money (I’m running a small business myself) but I do like to cook and entertain and I would have spent a little extra to have a good selection of cheese (which Key Food now has — with great prices) or for good quality smoked fish or grass-fed beef or pork products. But their stuff didn’t look like it turned over much, so I never wanted to take the chance of food poisoning my family or guests.

I’m with Lily — a Trader Joe’s would ROCK!

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Helios

I would love to see an American Diner-type restaurant where you can get a decent breakfast, eggs for lunch or a simple sandwich with coffee. A place where you can get a light dinner made with fresh food. The Rose was almost there. I’ll never know why that place closed. I loved it!

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Long time resident

Nodus opened up over the summer. It’s good. Turkish Grill is great too. I also like Mangal Kebab. I didn’t know something had taken over the Gray Point space. I ate at the new French place (Bistro 46 I think). Very good.

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Bliss & Skillman

We need a nice “listening room” where we can go to have a drink and listen to some music. Not a nightclub pick-up kind of joint, but one with decent acoustics, a small stage and local talent. Keep the art of music alive and well. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSICIANS!

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SuperWittySmitty

Nodus is brand new, isn’t it?

I was at Baruir’s and at Butcher Boys today, and I’m aware of the new Thai restaurant that’s opened in place of Gray Point. I’ve been single lately- if I can find a date maybe I’ll check out some of these restaurants. I’m anxious to try Turkish Grill, too.

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Long time resident

@SuperWittySmitty: Nodus is on Queens Blvd on the southside of the Blvd. There’s also two other Thai place in the same vicinity right on the Blvd. on the Northside – Dee’s and Yum Yum.

You know, it’s not really the Boulevard of Death in Sunnyside because of the elevated train above it parking beneath it bisecting the Blvd and making it safeer. I’m sure you can cross to explore Sunnyside North without risk of death or bodily injury.

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Long time resident

People who want bookstores are typically people who like books. People who buy books. People who give books as gifts. People who like books, a cafe, and author events want bookstores. Unfortunately, I can buy books really, really easily on the internet, get them shipped to me for free, even find used books (and sell my old books there too), without leaving my home.

Anyway, I agree with what everyone said about Orchard. It just wasn’t differentiated enough. I expected a more gourmet selection. Most of the products in there could have been bought across the street in the grocery store or bought at the fruit/vegetable stand on the block.

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SuperWittySmitty

Do we really need a bookstore? Our library has served me incredibly well over the years-I almost consider it an extension of my book shelves. There has not yet been a book that I wanted to read that the Queens library system could not get for me in a couple weeks.

If you want to own a book, there are plenty for sales at the thrift shops over on QB.

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SuperWittySmitty

Are you kidding me?

Okay, Krissi, thanks. I’ll check this Thai place out.

Over here in south Sunnyside (near the library, there aren’t any Thai places that I know of-I am going to start looking around more carefully!

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Patrick

Lucky us, there’s graffiti covering that wall now. Like real graffiti not art. Oh wait, and it’s covering the movie theater, the post office, most other buildings in the neighborhood. Ha, stay classy Sunnyside.

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Time's Up

“A major bookstore wouldn’t stand a chance in Sunnyside. Not enough people who read English.”

Your conclusion is spot-on. But it has nothing to do with immigrants.

Yes, Sunnyside is one of the most diverse ‘hoods in the most diverse metropolis in the world.

But bookstores are closing all around the city, including in neighborhoods with not nearly as many immigrants. So, obviously, it’s a phenomenon unrelated to immigration. And considering NYC was always a city of immigrants, and bookstores used to thrive, then clearly it’s not due to immigrants.

I understand why people want a bookstore. But those screaming for one seem delusional, with no grasp of economic realities. Borders on Wall Street was always packed, yet it too couldn’t survive.

I wish I were wrong.

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Long time resident

I am sorry to see them leave and if the property owner takes over, the wall will go back to being be all graffiti again.
It wasn’t graffiti before it was painted ugly beige. It was a mural. You may have thought it was an ugly mural, or didn’t care for it, but it was decidedly *not* graffiti.

also, I don’t think people are hoping for a major bookstore chain. They’re hoping for an independent. Our area supports a couple of book clubs, so yeah, people read here. But, anyone who reads anything about the book business knows now isn’t the time to open an independent bookstore when independents have been dropping off the face of the earth for the past 15 years, and even major retailers like Borders have gone belly up thanks to being unable to figure out the internet.

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Roger_the_Shrubber

@njenkins

A major bookstore wouldn’t stand a chance in Sunnyside. Not enough people who read English. I don’t think it would be practical for a store to hold inventory for books in all the languages spoken here. Even the street crossing lights were changed to symbols because apparently a lot of immigrants couldn’t manage to figure out the meaning of “walk” and “don’t walk.’

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Krissi

SuperWittySmitty

“I’m waiting for some good Thai. anyone try that new place on QB next to the UPS store?”

Are you kidding me? Sunnyside has like 10 Thai places, most at least above average. If you haven’t been to Nodus yet, you really should. I probably go every other week. I love their food!

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njenkins

If you want foot traffic- NYC first Cracker Barrel or Dairy Queen would pull from all boroughs. What we really need in this neighborhood is a decent bookstore that can host events.

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Steven

@velociraptor from the comments it sounds like this shop wasn’t gourmet at all so perhaps that wasn’t the problem. The economy is bad but many gourmet shops and restaurants are surviving by truly offering customers something different in Sunnyside and all over the city. Oh and by Marxists in Washington do you mean the republican controlled house?

To paraphrase the reknown capitalist who founded Vanguard Funds, the greatest threat to democracy is unrestrained capitalism, which is exactly the cause of our current economic woes. 8 years of horrible policy, favoring Wall Street over Main Street, funding 2 wars, and rampant deficit spending, have put us in the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. This fiasco will take years to fix.

But I digress, the problems with this store seem to be more than just the economy. Perhaps it’s a combination of the downturn, no differentiation in the marketplace and location.

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velociraptor

Nelson’s may have had nice window displays but the owners were the most obnoxious and rude jerks you could imagine.

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artie

Nelsons was located were the library is, 1945 to 1970.
Then operated on the South West Corner from 1970 to 2007, (good run).

Greenpoint Ave between 42nd and 43rd I do not have any chronological order, but I will list as many businesses as I can remember.
An A&P supermarket was located at Greenpoint Avenue at 42nd St. occupying half the block.
On the corner of Greenpoint and 43rd was a luncheonette called Daffeys, when that closed a slot car racing business occupied the location for several years.
There was also a liquor store, Broadstone bar, a photographer, TV repair store called Halls electronics and the movie theater which had the entrance were the current Chinese restaurant is.
When the A&P moved across the street to where Foodtown is, we had Mcory 5 & 10 store (now it would be call a .99 store.

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Matt

Fingers crossed that whoever moves in next keeps those lovely CIA black site interrogation arc lamps! Those are nice!

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SuperWittySmitty

I love the tacos from the place next to Orchard. And the folks at the vegetable stand on the corner have a decent shop- I should eat more fruits and veggies, I know! But what other kind of store would work on this block? Supermarkets and malls are tough competition. An above-average Chinese place would be nice! I’m waiting for some good Thai. anyone try that new place on QB next to the UPS store?

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PandoraZ

>>I know Nelsons was there, but has there ever been a better mix of businesses on that stretch, from 44th St to 39th on Greenpoint?<<

There used to be a theater at Orchard's/Nelson's location; that's why the roof has that peak. The Jehovah Witnesses hall on 44th and Greenpoint used to be the Bliss Theatre. Photos here: http://sunnysidesoundproject.org/30_Sunnyside_WarrenGHarris.html

Interior of the Bliss Theatre, 1931: http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b110/GuanoReturns/Queens%20Movie%20Theaters/Bliss%20Theater%20Sunnyside/?action=view&current=BlissInterior1931.jpg

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Patrick

And I meant to ask, to longtime residents — what did this block look like 20 years ago? I know Nelsons was there, but has there ever been a better mix of businesses on that stretch, from 44th St to 39th on Greenpoint?

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Patrick

Ha not Hooters, but certainly a restaurant would be a better business for that visible corner. Of course, someone will think, “let’s open a Thai restaurant,” or “I think Sunnyside needs another dollar store,” so a decent business will probably not pop up here. Or it will remain unoccupied until a developer comes in, knocks down the building and replaces it with one of those eyesores along Queens Blvd near the mall.

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you all make me laugh

Honestly.. who can say that they didn’t see this comming from a mile away? For as much as you all complain about the 99¢ stores there is a very obvious reason why they keep popping up. Care to venture an answer? Thats right because people shop in them. And has anyone else noticed the sign for the Dog Guru has come down as well? Personally I have my fingers crossed for a Hooters to take over that spot.. Now that would bring lots of consumer traffic to Greenpoint.

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Roxy

Hardly surprising. Customers seemed to evaporate within a month of opening. They never attempted to compete with the long-established fruit-and-vegetable market in the same block. The final killer might have been the opening of Key Foods’ greatly expanded and much improved deli and bakery sections.

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45 year Resident of Sunnyside!

Those poor people did not stand a chance. Foodtown and Associated are both well stocked and well priced food chains; also on the same block is a good fresh fruit market. I am sorry to see them leave and if the property owner takes over, the wall will go back to being be all graffiti again.

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SuperWittySmitty

Webley sounds kind of cranky, blaming the neighborhood for this store’s faulty business plan. Maybe this is why cashier’s are not so friendly?? I buy my groceries at foodtown & my produce at the stand across the street- both of these places have offered me very pleasant shopping experiences over the years.
Unfortunately, Orchard Market wasn’t offering anything new and failed in its efforts to attract new clientele. It might have done better on QB, then again that new Parrot looks lovely and is not attracting is looking empty too!

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local

@Webley: I tried too!

I was so excited when this place opened, and shopped there as much as I could — but honestly, over time, it started to feel really ill-maintained. Things didn’t appear clean, I bought at least one thing that was expired, and there were flies buzzing around.

Too bad, as it was great to have a nice market like this in the neighborhood. People should support small, interesting markets like Go Natural and Parrot so that they can stick around.

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sartke

Wanted to support this place but as Patrick mentioned, the produce really wasn’t very good. They seemed nice and I went when I could but how many large grocery stores can South Sunnyside sustain?

If it were *more* of a gourmet shop I would have gone more.

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velociraptor

In a crappy economy, people don’t shop at gourmet shops like this.

Blame the marxists in DC.

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Patrick

This is not a surprise — the owners checked out pretty much from the moment that store opened. The product assortment was the same as you could find at any local market, Foodtown and Key Food included. The store name suggested a farmers market — but the produce wasn’t very good. Plus there’s the Greenpoint Avenue curse. Plus a weak BID, plus bad lighting, plus…all very sad though, the owners must have spent a fortune.

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Webley

Nice job neighbors, you didn’t support another fine store that kept the neighborhood class higher than it was.. Now someone will open a drug store and even worse another 99 cent store.

Good job, keep shopping at associates or foodtown, they don’t even greet you with a smile or say have a nice day at checkout, I hate those cashiers except for one or two that don’t seem to last long there.

I tried my best, but I couldn’t keep it afloat by myself.

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