Downtown Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery and Wine Bar to Close May 12; Wednesday/Saturday Market and Food Truck Friday Will Continue

Categories: Buchanan

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Friday afternoon, Dan Klocke, board president of Community Food Connections -- the group that runs the Downtown Phoenix Public Urban Grocery and Wine Bar -- announced the grocery will close May 12.

Calls and messages Friday to executive director Cindy Gentry and others associated with the grocery have not been returned, but there's already a "Save the Market" Facebook page.

Here is Klocke's message, in its entirety:

I am writing to let you know that the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar, run by the non-profit Community Food Connections (CFC), will be closing its doors to the public at the close of business May 12th at 5 pm. The outdoor Phoenix Public Market will continue to run every Wednesday (4-8 pm), Saturday (8 am-12 pm) and Food Truck Fridays for lunch. As board president of CFC, I wanted to speak to all of you personally and will try to in the coming days, but I did not want anyone to hear it from another source. All of you receiving this e-mail have made major contributions to the only grocery store in downtown which also supports so many small, diverse and local businesses. The outdoor market will continue that mission of supporting small farmers and businesses while creating a great community gathering place for the 100,000 people that came during the last year. I also want to personally thank our landlord and the City of Phoenix. Both have gone above and beyond in their support of this community project.

As you may have heard Cindy Gentry has resigned as executive director. In my entire career I have honestly never met anyone so dedicated to the community and the mission of an organization. Her contribution to this community and downtown in particular has been amazing and she will be sorely missed. In the meantime the board of directors will continue the outdoor market with help from some folks already involved in running it on a weekly basis. I want you all to know that like any business there are risks with opening your doors and sometimes it just does not work out. It can be particularly difficult when it is such a community based business. However, I want you all to keep the faith because the outdoor market is doing great. Thank you again for all you have done to help and please come visit us at the Phoenix Public Market every Wednesday and Saturday.

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22 comments
Anthony
Anthony

People would have gone around the construction if the market sold items they actually needed. It's crazy to think that between the student population and the Westward Ho, a market could not survive.

Been there
Been there

 Westward Ho was never a big customer of the market. Other than just getting out and mingling. There is a Circle K on first street and Fillmore that is more to their liking.

slock9
slock9

The employees were always very nice.  Yes they were young, but they were helpful with a smile.  I loved the 'deli' salad selection and enjoyed finding new local products all in one place!  It was always my go to when I needed an AZ food gift.

Richard P.
Richard P.

I wanted to like the concept of this place, but I only went a few times, didn't buy a lot of anything (it was all overpriced) and was really turned off by the employees' attitudes.

here's my beef
here's my beef

Seems like every time I invest my time and money in some farmer's market scene all I walk away with is an $8.00 loaf of bread, a $3.00 head of Romaine, $7.00 worth of heirloom tomatoes, and a serious case of buyer's remorse I can't even make a sandwich with. Just sayin'.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

What they needed to do, and this was suggested NUMEROUS times was to form a Food Co-operative where every member owned a share of the Market.  However, that's not what was proposed.  I am proposing that a food co-operative open up the Downtown Phoenix.Public market and make it TRULY a public market, instead of just pretending it is.  Private ownership of this business through a co-operative business arrangement would guarantee it's survival for a long term.  Most Food Co-operatives in this City have lasted for over 20 years.  Plus it's only fair that the City help start a new one since they plopped a Freeway down on the last one we had in Phoenix, the Rainbow Food Co-op.

Concerned Food Fan
Concerned Food Fan

Weird, it sounds like selling a really limited selection of overpriced goods wasn't a good business model.  Who knew?

joe.distort
joe.distort

the wednesday and saturday market were the highlights for us anyway, so thats a good thing. i bought much, much more direct from the vendors out there.

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers

Sorry to hear the news. I hope the next business in is more mindful of the economy and has more offerings than the pricey stuff they had there. If anyone needs an AJs, that already existed.A big part of what killed this place was hipster employees who were too cool for school.

Nick Bastian
Nick Bastian

 Kenny, this comment is something that seems to be coming up a LOT. It seems like the market may have been their own worst enemy? Many people seem to love the place, the concept etc. but it is hard to pay $3.50 for a $2.00 item just because you want to support the place? As far as the employees, this is also something that should be a no-brainer.
The success of the Wednesday and Saturday markets, the coffee shop, the food trucks might make people wonder if the place could do just fine with some simple management changes.
It's an interesting discussion, for sure...

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers

I agree totally. As you stated, the food truck days bring in hundreds and hundreds of new and returning customers, I first went into the market because a food truck recommended it, and while the stuff looked cool, it was SO over-priced there was just no appeal to purchase anything. It is worth noting I make good money and have no kids, so in theory I am the ideal customer, and yet I will drive 15 minutes away to the AJ's on Central because the employees are so great, it is locally owned and even their higher prices are cheaper.

Laeva65
Laeva65

Looks to me like our friends at the city of Phoenix who kept that street ripped up for so long deserve a big hand for running the grocery out of business. I know I drove by several times and went on instead of hassling with all the construction mess.  Thanks city guys.  I heard you wanted to resurrect the downtown area?  Must have misunderstood. 

guest
guest

the city gave this business $350,000 to help it stay afloat and offer you foodfags overpriced produce. you all talked about how great it was... organic! local first! it's green! but then when the bill came due, you were nowhere to be found. you libtards are so predictable.

TheRaoulDuke5000
TheRaoulDuke5000

I love how everyone who you disagree with is somehow a liberal!  Guess what?? I love guns, low taxes and the death penalty, and think you're a raging dickhead! Keep up the snarky comments, I'm sure you're well on your way to solving all of the worlds problems!! 

guest
guest

wow, a real gun and execution lovin', tax hatin' redneck? it's simply astounding that you're here at the new times. why didn't you round up those backwater yokels that you call friends and spend enough money to keep this business operating?

Pete
Pete

Dear Mr. Klocke,

When you wrote, "As board president of CFC, I wanted to speak to all of you personally and will try to in the coming days...", did you have any particular date in mind?

If not, how does this Wednesday night (5/9) work for you? We can all meet at the Downtown Public Market.

 
(There will be food trucks!) If the odds aren't insurmountable, maybe the community of this community based business can help figure out some solutions?What went wrong? What could change to make it work better? Can it work at all?Sometimes it just does not work out, but once in a blue moon... it does.If nothing else, you'll save a lot of time speaking to community residents personally ALL AT ONCE rather than one at a time. Are you in, Dan?  sincerely,Pete  

Slade Grove
Slade Grove

I'm really sorry to see the public market close. It was a great and an amazing venue. They truly supported small business owners and the local first movement. This is a real shame.

guest
guest

you mean it's a shame that the "community" didn't loosen up their purse strings? remember, talk is cheap.

Slade Grove
Slade Grove

Dear "guest..." every time I went people were present and spending money. 

guest
guest

that's a very convincing anecdote, slade. in light of this new information, I'm thinking that they either got mugged on the way to the bank to make a deposit, or the occupy crowd got to them and they felt guilty about making all that money.

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