BREAKING: Foodie’s Closing Thursday After Failing To Attract Customers

Photo: Au revoir, Foodies

The rumors have been swirling around Belmont Center for the past few months: Foodie’s Market was on its heels financially. Business owners on Leonard Street heard the number of customers coming to the store had never materialized as the Roxbury-based business and landlord, Locatelli Properties, had hoped. Recently, the market suddenly removed an application before the Zoning Board of Appeals to place a small cafe in the store to attract people to have lunch and dinner in the store. 

“It’s not a good sign,” said Gerry Dickhaut, owner of Champions Sporting Good and president of the Belmont Center Business Association, said just last week. 

Today, the scuttlebutt proved true. According to a spokesperson at Foodie’s headquarters in Boston, the supermarket in the former Filene’s’ store will close on Thursday, May 31, nearly a year after opening in the center. 

“All I can say is we are closing our Belmont operation. That’s it,” the spokesperson said.

No reason was provided, yet a person who works closely with Foodie’s speaking on background said a highly-competitive food marketplace – a Whole Foods, a Trader Joe’s, and two Star Market locations are within two miles of the smallish (15,000 square feet) Foodie’s outlet – and the market’s challenging layout in the basement of the new building which forced shoppers to climb down a long stairwell from the Leonard Street storefront proved a “hard nut to crack.” 

Shhhhhh! Foodie’s Market Is Open In Belmont Center

Photo: Open for business.

Pssst. Keep this under your hat, but …

Foodie’s Market is open for business. 

Just a little more than two years ago when it first announced plans to place a store in the former Macys’/Filenes’ location on Leonard Street in Belmont Center, the South End-based supermarket chain opened its doors, albeit quietly, on Wednesday afternoon, May 10.

For Christina Hooley, the assistant store manager of the fourth Foodie’s in Greater Boston, it’s exciting to finally have customers and staff in the store located at 87 Leonard St. 

“We are happy to be open, but we aren’t making a big announcement. This is really a ‘quiet’ opening,” said Hooley, opening five days before the upcoming weeklong Grand Opening celebration beginning Monday, May 15 and lasting until Town Day, May 20. 

While customers were moving between rows of produce, fruit, meats and the freshly-made meal counters Thursday morning, there were workers with ladders and tools doing final repairs and installations as cashiers and staff continued to bring in product to the store.

Foodie’s has released its Opening Week schedule of tastings and events:

Monday, May 15, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Deano Pasta – Ravioli and Sause
  • Farmer Willie’s Craft Ginger Beer

Wednesday, May 17, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Andrea Alexander from Giannoni Selection Wines

Thursday, May 18, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Indaba Wines
  • Eric Spitz from Baystate Wine
  • SABRA FOODS – Middle Eastern food

Friday, May 19:

  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: SID WAINER- Bacon, Chicken Sausage, Cheese
  • Noon – 4 p.m.: YANKEE TRADER – Seafood Appetizers
  • 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.: FOOD MATCH – Olive/Wine/Cheese 
  • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Casey Gruttadauria from Ideal Wine & Spirits

Saturday, May 20 (Belmont Town Day)


  • Outside giveaways: KIND BARS, POLAR SELTZERS
  • FOOD MATCH: Wella Bars, Fig Spread, Cheese
  • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Dave Bove from Vineyard Brands

Foodie’s Snags Final Beer/Wine License for Belmont Center Store

Photo: Victor Cruz, Jr. speaking before the Belmont Board of Selectmen.

Nearly nine months before it opens its doors to residents, the owner of the supermarket anchoring the renovated Macy’s space in Belmont Center is the holder of the town’s final beer and wine license as the Belmont Board of Selectmen awarded the permit to Foodie’s Market.

Victor Cruz, Jr., told the Belmontonian today’s customers anticipate well-run markets to stock beer and wine as a matter of course.

“Like I said to the selectmen, people have become accustomed to expecting it at their local market,” said Cruz, after the board voted unanimously to award the Boston-based independent chain the license. 

It was this “new reality” among its customers that brought Cruz to the Selectmen on Monday, July 27, seeking the final of the four beer and wine licenses Town Meeting approved and the legislature OK’d for retail establishments three years ago. 

“We feel its critical for us to have since other” markets also sell beer and wine including Star Market on Mt. Auburn Street and Trader Joe’s on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. 

Cruz said his family’s fourth operation – to be located in 15,000 sq.-ft. on the lower level of the renovated site of the Macy’s department store at 75 Leonard St. – will be located in the lower portion of the remodeled site. 

The beer and wine section will take up four percent of space near the customer service area in the back of the store, “so we can keep a close eye on the site.” 

He noted that he will sign a “no craft beer” agreement in the lease in which Foodie’s will not sell the same beverages currently being sold by Craft Beer Celler, the artisanal beer store down the block. 

“Our intent is not to hurt anyone, but rather drive business of the center of Belmont rather than away from it,” said Cruz, noting the Cellar’s owners, Kate Baker and Suzanne Schalow, approve of the store coming to the center. Cruz will also speak with Carolyn Kemp, co-owner of Vintages in Belmont. 

Diane Malcolmson of Pinehurst Road said it is important for town leaders and residents remember that retail owners such as Kemp “that took a chance on this town five years ago when we needed that alcohol revenue.”

“We just expect you to be a good neighbor and encourage you to speak to all the businesses” in the center, said Malcolmson.