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.” 

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Comments

  1. T says

    While Foodies was a beautiful market, with lovely quality products, many, many Belmontonians could have saved the owners a lot of time, money and anguish if they’d hosted a few focus groups or even questioned pedestrians on the street. Accessibility and prices would have topped the list of negatives. I believe they would not have opened at all, if they had understood what customers were willing to spend – it would not have been profitable. I am truly sorry for the owners of the Foodies company; however, the fault did not lie with residents, but with a poorly planned and placed business.

  2. KT says

    This is so sad. The residents of Belmont Center loved having the market there. The deli was excellent as was the hot buffet bar and the bakery. The employees were so friendly and helpful. They will be missed.

  3. Belmont Billy says

    The reason for the failure is the owner didn’t bother to try and understand the local market, and a result didn’t create a compelling reason to shop there. The assortment reminded me of being at a Cumberland Farms – Hood Milk, lots of white bread, the premium coffee was Starbucks, etc. Token organic selections didn’t cut it. Even if the prices were low (which they weren’t), I wouldn’t have shopped there. Before they opened, with the name ‘Foodies’ I had the uniformed notion or hope that the store would be a mix of Formaggio Kitchen, Savenor’s, Whole Foods, Pemberton Farms, and Wilson Farms. The Didrik’s of food stores. Something different than Shaws. No wonder so many small businesses fail.

    • Mary says

      I had the same expectations, which they met as far as the meat department was concerned. But completely agree about the pathetic organics section and the uninspired regular groceries. A little research might have also led them to have shopping carts that would have actually allowed parents to place a baby or toddler! Although my kids are older, I heard a lot of parents say this was a deal-breaker for them. Still, sorry it didn’t work. Would love to see a branch of Russo’s open, but now probably no grocer will want to risk it. That’s the real shame, because the right market could do well I think. Or a small H-Mart?

  4. Ashley LeMoine says

    Too far to walk carrying groceries back over a hill, too much traffic to drive, too few specialities. Maybe delivery service would have helped.

    • John says

      There are real people behind this business. Millions of dollars burned. Wasted time and energy. Lost jobs. Regardless of the reason for the failure, it’s a tragedy for many.

      Cassie may choose to enjoy her entitled snobbery while telling people how to feel, but for the rest of us, feeling bad for these folks is a pretty reasonable reaction.

      • Lisa says

        I agree with John! And I really enjoyed being able to get fresh fruit, vegetables and meats within walking distance from home and visited the store a few times a week. The prepared foods and salad bar was a great way to get healthy food quickly for lunch. Frankly, I don’t think there was anything pathetic about the store in that it tried to balance the desire for new/small brands with national brands people still very much want.
        I’ll really miss the store.

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