Nov. 27, 2019 By Allie Griffin
A beloved Long Island City natural food store is set to close next month after the business owner and the landlord could not agree to new lease terms.
Natural Frontier Market, which has provided neighborhood residents with healthy, natural, and locally sourced foods for a decade, will shutter its 12-01 Jackson Ave. doors sometime next month.
Its landlord, Hentze-Dor Real Estate Inc, wanted to double the rent and it was too much for the owner to afford, store employees said. The food store has been at the Jackson Avenue location for 10 years and the lease was in the process of being renewed.
While the online ordering system has already been taking down from the website, the exact closing date of the physical store has yet to be determined. The date is largely dependent on inventory levels, wellness manager Carmen Cairo said – though the store will likely close by mid-December.
“The date seems to be fluid. I think if most of the product moves out, they’ll close Dec. 21 or maybe earlier, who knows,” Cairo, who has worked at Natural Frontier Market for nine and a half years, said.
“Our customers are devastated,” Cairo said. “I’m sure there will be people coming in January, knocking on the doors saying what the heck happened.”
One customer told another employee that he was more heartbroken by the store closure than when his girlfriend broke up with him, cashier Arona Radia said.
“Everyone’s cursing the landlord. It’s really sad,” said Radia, who has worked at the store for three years. “Now we have to start looking for a job in the middle of the holidays.”
The Jackson Avenue store is one of three stores in the Natural Frontier Market chain. The company has one in Brooklyn and another in Astoria.
Hentze-Dor Real Estate didn’t immediately return a request for comment.