LOCAL shoppers will lose another beloved small business that is set to shut down after years of providing healthy, natural groceries to the community.
Nature Market, a popular Long Island, New York grocery store chain, will close one of their four locations around the week of May 18.
According to their website, the family-owned grocery store offered a wide selection of natural health-care products and fresh, wholesome foods.
In its mission statement, the store emphasized that “the production of food should support life, promote well-being, and protect the world’s natural resources.”
The business originally opened in 1994 and has become a staple grocery stop for Long Island shoppers.
A sign posted on the store’s door announced the impending shutdown and closure plans.
Employees at the closing West Islip location will be given the option to transfer to new positions at the other three remaining locations.
“We thank them for all their efforts and we sincerely thank you for your patronage,” the sign read.
The closure comes as bitter news to many people who have relied on Nature Market’s unique health products.
For Megan Gardner, a single mother to an 18-year-old with autism, the store’s upcoming closure feels “personal.”
Gardner told Patch that the grocery store was the one place he could rely on for his son’s nutritional needs.
“He also has gluten allergies, and problems with his immune system, which is part of the autism,” said Gardner.
“Not only was it close to where I lived, but they had all the organic products, a lot of the supplements and vitamins, vitamins that he needs.”
The mother also noted that her son and her were always greeted with friendly faces, which made their shopping experience all the more enjoyable.
“They saw me teach him and help him how to do things at checkout, like how to bag groceries or put things properly on the belts,” she said. “Nobody stared. It was normal for them.”
Gardener was so disappointed when she learned the store would close that she reached out to the corporate office to see if there would be any way to keep it open.
“They explained was that basically the cost of food has gone up so exponentially in such a short amount of time,” she said. “That physically it’s not possible to keep that store open.”