Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Good Food On Court Street Is Closing And With It Goes Another Piece Of Carroll Gardens History

IMG_2054
IMG_2053
IMG_2051
Mike Sale in front of the store he has owned with his brother Allegrino for 35 years
IMG_2034
Mike Sale, sister Anna Moccia and two of their workers 
IMG_2035
IMG_2050
IMG_2039
IMG_2038
IMG_2030
IMG_2045
IMG_2047
IMG_2042
IMG_2041
The store's original butcher block and sausage grinder

Sad news for Carroll Gardens.  At the end of April, Good Food, the Italian Superette will be closing its doors for the final time.   For 85 years, the storefront at 431 Court Street between 3rd and 4th Place has supplied the neighborhood with fresh  mozzarella, Italian sausages, olives and other Italian delicacies.  Besides the deli counter and meat counter,  Good Food also carried everything from canned goods to cleaning products and everything in between.

The business first belonged to the Bruno brothers, relatives of NY City Office Of Emergency Management Commissioner  Joseph Bruno.  The Brunos ran the business until one of the brothers was attacked while on his way to make a deposit at a local bank.
That's when the Sale Brothers, Mike and Allegrino, bought the supermarket and the building.  Together, they have managed the store for the last 35 years.  They would gladly continued,  but just recently, representatives of Investors Bank have made Mike and Allegrino an offer the brothers could not refuse.  So, the New Jersey-based bank will be opening a branch at this location, and the neighborhood will lose one of the last remaining Italian food stores in the neighborhood.

I stopped by yesterday to speak with Mike and his sister Anna Moccia., who has been working with her brothers at the store for many years.  Mike told me that the store will close at the end of April.  Though he acknowledges that he will now be able to retire, he had tears in his eyes when he told me that he will miss all his customers.  "We have known some of them for a very long time and I know that it will be hard for all the older Italians in the neighborhood. We accepted phone orders and made home deliveries for the seniors who could not come to the store themselves any more.  To illustrate how he and his brother went out of their way to accommodate some of their customers, he told me about a recent call from an elderly Italian lady who wanted one eggplant delivered to her house. "She wanted to buy just one, but she asked if we could send a few, so that she could chose the best one."
Asked if he complied,  Mike smiled and shrugged his shoulders. "What could I do?"

Mike also took me to the back and pointed out a butcher block on which the Italian sausages are made daily.  "This is still the original block from the Bruno brothers.  They left it when we took over the store.  We will give it back to the Bruno family after we close."

Already, the store's shelves are looking empty and the sign above the entrance has been removed.  It will soon be replaced by a bright neon sign of yet another bank.
Good Food and the Sale family will be missed in the neighborhood. With them goes another piece of Carroll Gardens history.   How very sad.




48 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's so scary that so many things are closing...pj's and south brooklyn pizza, palo cortado, and now this staple of the neighborhood. in their places we get a bank and teaffee?? so sad and upsetting

Anonymous said...

A vicious cycle. Carroll Gardens is very desirable, and a great place to live. With that, developers, chain stores, the dreaded banks offer merchants extraordinary rent which become impossible to turn down. Hence, the destruction of the neighborhood, and the reason why people want to live here. I feel terrible for those who depended on Good Food for delivery and the sense of their shrinking community they built.
I shopped in GF often, and will miss them terribly.

Anonymous said...

AAARGH!!! Not another bank!!!

Valerie Gambino said...

Just goes to show how money always wins. They got an offer they couldn't refuse.

Anonymous said...

It really is so sad. There will now be no Supermarket to shop. I hate how the neighborhood is changing. It used to be I would go to the store and it would take me over an hour to get home, because of all the people you would meet along the way. Now when I go down to the neighborhood, I know no one. That along with being priced out, makes me sad. They say change is supposed to be good. But I think - not in all cases. People move into the area because they love it - and then they want to change it. I don't get it. Just my opinion.

Unknown said...

This breaks my heart. My fiance and I just moved into the neighborhood a few weeks ago... perhaps most would describe us as the dreaded "yuppies". Despite that, we've fallen in love with Good Food and find their Mozzarella, sausage, and prepared food the best in the neighborhood. I'm not sure where we will do our weekly shopping. It's weird to say, but this store really made me fall in love with Carroll Gardens, because I'd spent years yearning for this sort of old community. It will be sad to see it replaced with a useless bank. I will certainly be stocking up on their incredible sausage and cute Italian baking soda.

Although I'm "new", I can see why the neighborhood is wary of newcomers if all it means is the heart and soul of Carroll Gardens leaves.

Anyways we can convince them to reopen elsewhere????

Anonymous said...

First commenter mentioned that Palo Cortado was among the closing establishments? Is this true? I sure hope not.

Anonymous said...

All these local shops are the reason we moved here 12 years ago. It is unfair to say that the people who move here want to change it - I know I speak for a LOT of people when I say it saddens me to see all of the places that we moved here for and have made the neighborhood what it is leave. We don't want them to leave, but when their children don't want to stay here to take over the business, what are they supposed to do in the face of a big payout? I am sad for all the elderly who I see them taking phone orders for, how are they going to shop now?

Anonymous said...

concerning palo, a friend on mine was a server and she posted on FB that her last night was the other night. when someone inquired, she said because they were closing. i walked passed yesterday and it was dark.

Anonymous said...

Geez. Because we need another bank? Are you kidding? (Obviously, sadly, I know you are not.) It's terribly sad to lose a piece of the neighborhood's character. It's also good to have new character come in, but another bank is not going to provide any texture or humanity to the hood. I wish they could have refused. If it was not enough to retire on--why'd he accept??

Anonymous said...

And I woke up in a good mood today! This is so depressing.

Anonymous said...

So sad that they are going. I love this store and rely on it: great product, unpretentious, friendly service and good prices! This is a real loss to me, and I can get to other places- but chose to shop at good food anyway- but what about the folks who relied on the deliveries? I really feel for them, and this is a serious loss to the whole neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the older folks in the local Italian community, and there is still a very big Italian community here. They rely on stores like this, and it gives them a sense of community. I live too far away to shop there, but I know that they had good handmade products like cheese and sausage that cannot be duplicated.

I would not feel so bad if it was going to be a worthwhile business opening in its place; but another bank?! That is crazy!

Anonymous said...

I hope it was "retirement kinda money".

Another bank?! No one wants to live next to a bank and certainly not 4!

The target on my wallet is getting bigger by the day...

Anonymous said...

The neighborhood will soon be 90% banks, nail salons, real estate companies, dry cleaners, over-priced boutiques, restaurants & coffee shops.

Michelle Cramer said...

I am devastated by this news. I've been going there for years. And I see the seniors in the neighborhood who rely on them. I understand they might want to retire but the family could still carry on. So sad to see my community change in the 13 years I've lived here.

And then to see Palo Cortado didn't make it. I'm going to go have a good cry now...

Mike said...

Well, the recurring theme is Italians selling out to money they "can't refuse". If you want to lament anything, maybe lament the fact that Italians have been doing this to their own neighborhood for years. Instead of selling to better businesses, they take money they "can't refuse".

If they really gave a crap about this and they had some foresight, they wouldn't just sell to the highest bidder.

Gerard did it with the old pharmacy where Chase is, the pizza place did it where Dunkin Donuts now has been, and the brothers sell out the neighborhood to Investors bank. And there are many other instances.

Cry over this? C'mon. Go take your complaints to people who sold out. And to goons like Buddy Scotto and so on.

Anonymous said...

While I wouldn't put it as bluntly as you, Mike, I do agree with your general idea. People are always bitching about the yuppies changing the neighborhood, but it's the old-timers who are selling out to the banks and the dunkin donuts and the nail salons. Can't wait to see McDonalds or 7-11 move in to Vinzees sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

When I look out my window I'll no longer see Good Food a reliable store for decades.
As I see another unnecessary bank erect where Good Food is my stomach turns.
Key Food was sold out to CVS a few blocks away. Yet we had good food as back up.
Wth are those people living here supposed to shop now?!
If you don't have a car to get to Pathmark what do you do?
I hope Met on Henry Street takes phone orders and deliveres to the residents here as Good Food had for so many years.
When family members want out of the family business such as adult children, that's it!
I wish Al and Mike a beautiful retirement they have earned it. Thanks to Roberto and Saul Good Foods loyal employees.

M said...

I want to throw up.
I am so sad. Sad. Sad.

Anonymous said...

This will likely prove an unpopular comment, but as one of the relative newbies in the neighborhood, I have to ask: is it so wrong to expect local businesses to keep up with the times? I'm sure the owners of Good Food are nice people, and I absolutely don't think we need another bank of all things. But, I pass by Good Food almost daily and the place feels like it's stuck a time warp, and not in the same charming way as some of the other neighborhood places (which, by the way, also sell good handmade cheese and meat products). In fact I'm confused by the comments that imply folks have been using it as a "supermarket" - as far as I can tell from having stopped in, it's just a larger than average bodega...tiny Santos seems to have a larger selection of items (and no, I have no particular connection to Santos, it's just an example). All of which is to say, this closing is nothing more sinister than the natural lifecycle of a family business that failed to evolve over time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out that its not us new residents who are changing the neighborhood. We love all the charm of the shops, which is why we moved in. It's the old timers that see us as dollar signs and don't want to stay invested in the area. I look at the places like Frankies or Court St. Grocers as actually making an effort to preserve some of the local flavor, but the people selling their businesses to Dunkin Donuts and CVS are the people to blame for the changes around here.

Unknown said...

Ugh. There's a place for new and fancy, and the older places. I can attest that it was more than a "bodega". The coldcuts were fresh, the cheese and sausage homemade. The meat isn't frozen. The dry sausage is incredible. I cook mostly Italian food (like my mother did...), and this place was an affordable gem with great quality.

Anonymous said...

Will anyone be sad if a bank took over Me & My Eggroll? Sad to lose this place...bet Gourmet Fresh will take this opportunity to raise their prices.

Anonymous said...

Another newer resident here. I agree with some of the more recent comments... It really is curious how so many overlook the fact that most of the newer residents moved to the neighborhood BECAUSE of the old charm. If you can afford to move into CG now there are plenty of other places you could afford to live and be surrounded by every large national chain establishment imaginable.

Not sure why we're taking blame for the actions of old established neighborhood merchants who decided to sell out. Good Food isn't leaving because they were a failing business, far from it. Most of the old time shops that have stuck it out seem to be doing well for themselves, especially the ones who have made an effort to retain their historical character while evolving their offerings to keep up with changing tastes of the neighborhood. I sincerely hope these businesses will hang on, as I'm sure most of the other newer residents do.

Anonymous said...

while i'm sad to see such an old business leave the neighborhood, the fact that they sold out to a unheard-of bank doesnt leave me with much sympathy for them. They didnt care about preserving the integrity of the neighborhood but instead sold out to a business no-one wants or needs. I'm sorry if that's harsh...it's not like they were driven out...they chose this...FOR US!

As for the people who are despreately wondering where on earth they'll ever get stale, old, faded groceries...try NEXT DOOR at the better grocery store...or the deli up the street or next door...or caputos which has far superior cheeses and italian specialties...now if caputos left i would really get sick to my stomach!

Anonymous said...

First, awful news. Who cares about the aesthetics? I liked the owners, the employees and the kid. The sausage and mozzarella were tops, too. And sometimes they would throw in a freebie or two.

Second, yes, owners should resist selling to national, faceless corporations. For thousands of very good reasons. But...

Third, how else is a mom and pop supposed to retire? If not bite at a serious offer, who knows when the next one comes? Wait for a "local" investor to make an offer? Sorry, but there are no "local offers". Almost every "local flavor" place that people like that has moved in recently is a renter, not an owner. The owners of property are old timers and corporations. There ain't no in-between.

It's a damn shame.

Anonymous said...

They chose for themselves and their family members not a community.
Al still owns the building above gf this is a fact.
IMHO smart retirement income decision for the brothers. They are not eligible for pensions based on their work history. With a bank they are sure to receive their money the first of every month. If a private owner bought the store chances are slim this would be the deal.
Let's face it they will be extremely wealthy men and can finally enjoy la bella vita!

nancy said...

so sad to see good food close! i have relied on the quality italian food for over 30years! i love mike and al and their family! most of all i will miss the friendship i developed with them! hopefully we can stay in touch! congratulations on a well deserved retirement! relax and enjoy!

lots of luck!
nancy

Anonymous said...

They made the best roast beef sandwich, just the way I like it. I wish te owners all the best, of course. To lose this and get Whole Foods. Just awful.

gemma byrne said...

I am an immigrant and therefore I am new in the neighborhood (10 years) but I certainly don't want Good Food to close. It is the kind of mom and pop that is worth supporting. There used to be a Key Food a few steps from my previous apartment in first place but I preferred walking a few blocks to shop at their store.
The brothers are very accommodating. I would see their teenage sons working during weekends and they always had that sad look.

Detale said...

Where to begin.... Firstly to the new people who blame the natives for the changing of the neighborhood, you cannot possibly be that naive...or can you?

There are dozens of reasons the area changes and each store closing is an individual process with it's own reasons. To sum up and just say the old times shouldn't sell out is crazy. If you knew any of them you would know they worked their whole lives here and they are from a generation who rarely started any kind of retirement plan. The store IS the retirement plan. I know some of them are just sick of the newbies asking what everything in the window is and saying things like "rickotta cheese" or like the commenter who said dry sausage. It's called "supersod" (Soppressata) BTW

As far as Key Food goes the owner there wanted to GIVE the store to his son, his son didn't want to own a grocery store and instead wanted to be a club promoter (He was around 22 years old). The son failed miserably. After they had already sold key food the son then opened Gourmet Fresh with the help of his father or uncle I think.

I'm born and bred here and the neighborhood changed LONG before these businesses started closing. The influx of...well yuppies is what started changing the area almost 20 years ago now. So get off your high horses already.

I always hated Good Food ever since I was a little boy and my mother would send my in there to get cold cuts.

(I used to go to "Cow Bell" or "Jumbo's" instead; Remember those, no you probably don't)

Mike was always nasty, not just with me but with many people. He only seemed to get nicer in these later years.

You commenters act like they owe you something, this is what us "townies" think of most of you anyway, the sense of entitlement than many of you seem to have. It's their store, they worked HARD all these years and now they want to sell. Who are you to judge them for it? Sure they should have some sense of neighborhood, but this isn't their, or my, neighborhood anymore so they don't owe you a damn thing.

I say good for them and hope they made out well. Enjoy the retirement guys.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to see the changes in the neighborhood. I wish them well in their retirement but wish they could have found another way to stay open and retire....People do what they have to do but it's the community's loss..

Anonymous said...

I'm born and bred here too and I remember Cow Bell. I was a child but thanks for the reminder. :)
I agree yuppies and foreigners have changed the neighborhood and IMHO not in a good way except for landlords who recycle these same tenants. Or they are transient here for a year cold and unsociable then move out without a goodbye. Yes personal experience.
Change can be good depending on who you're asking and what are the benefits vs losses.
Another bank is a joke!

Anonymous said...

Very Sad.... Is Caputo next??? Just wait, Bloomberg got in his buddies at Lightstone to put up 700 apartments on the Gowanus Canal Thanks to Craig Hammermann &Community Board 6 they rubber stamped it with a fake "conditional approval" so that they can keep their jobs. Think you can't get on the F train in the morning??? You'll have leave at 6AM to get on the subway.Mayor Mike will not be getting the F. It just a matter of time. Everything that made Carroll Gardens special will be gone.( remember College Bakery??) Thanks to the new residents that don't care as long as they get a $5 Starbucks.. Thank you Mike Bloomberg for destroying democracy and our neighborhood

Anonymous said...

To Detale,

This hypocrisy of your statement is hilarious to me. The newbies don't care about the stores... but you're upset that they care enough to ask about the ingredients?

And seriously? Discriminating against people for not being raised in a Brooklyn, Italian neighborhood? Shame on you. Italians immigrants were discriminated against for their accents and food for quite awhile upon coming to America (at least where I'm from. I may not be FROM Brooklyn but I AM of Italian decent and would never fault someone for not knowing my dialect of the language), and it's really shameful to see you passing that ugliness onto future generations. Quite frankly, its attitudes like yours that make some newcomers feel unwelcome and ignore the older places.

I come from a working class, Italian family. I'm sure you raised your children to have a better life than you, as my parents did. Similarly, the neighborhood has grown. I came to this neighborhood for the mix of new and old. It's embarassing to me as an Italian to read the hate towards "others".
Things change.

This neighborhood was not Italian to begin with. It will change again. If you have a problem with development, take it up with your Congressman, but stop blaming "newcomers" -- none of you are native to America. So seriously, stop being so unwelcoming.

Anonymous said...

ha! Thanks "townies" for proving us "yuppies" correct. The reason we don't always go in your establishments is because you don't want us there. Therefore, we spend an extra dollar on the coffee at the place that doesn't sneer at us as we walk in. BUT if Caputo's ever leaves, I'll be so sad and surprised. Its one of the old school places that embraces all of us who may not know the correct word for soppressata and wants to share all their delicacies with us.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have bought a $3 million brownstone in this quaint neighborhood if I knew a bunch of yuppies were going to move in and destroy its quaint character!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but as a newcomer to the neighborhood--AND a recent immigrant...from northern Italy, I have to say I am getting quite offended by this 'townies' vs. 'outsiders' attitude. One thing about Italian Americans here in New York that I don't understand--why do you correct people on their Italian pronounciation if you speak a bastardized version of an extreme dialect yourself? In standard Italian dialect, all syllables are pronounced. It is not pronounced 'supersod.' Fagiole is not 'fa-JEW'. I can go on and on. And ALL Americans, it is not 'broo-shet-a.' It is 'broo-sKAY-ta.' Thank you.

Detale said...

At the first Anon guy.

Are you one of them' sensitive yuppies?

Looks to me like someone needs to re re-read my post. To be clear I'm not Italian at all, I'm Irish. It's just the way I and others brought up here were taught to say it.

Where exactly did I say that the newbies don't care about the stores? Where exactly did I discriminate against ANYONE? I actually defended development in my comment and was saying the store owners shouldn't be judged with such a broad brush.

Please read thoroughly before you post as not to make yourself look foolish....again. I clearly said "to the new people who blame the natives for the changing of the neighborhood" so I wasn't generalizing, I was speaking directly to the people who posted their opinions earlier on the matter. I didn't discriminate. The opinions weren't personal they were a collective from different locals still in the area and as to how the locals see the newcomers. To make you feel better I personally don't judge any of the yuppies based on anything other than their character. Some of them are damn fine folk, other well...They're yuppies

Now whether it's your lack or reading comprehension or your inability to explain the word discriminate you're wrong either way.

Also to clarify, EVERY new immigrant has been discriminated against when they came to the USA, it's just human nature I guess. Irish, Italian, Jew, Russian you name it. The locals always hate the new people when they first settle an area. As I said It's not "My neighborhood" anymore so
I'm not that bothered really. Maybe I'm just used to it, who knows.


At the new immigrant anon guy.

Welcome to the USA! Now as I mentioned I'm not Italian and my family has been in the USA for about 150 years, but I can comment on that the USA and especially NYC has it's own versions of languages so yes the Italian spoken here is different than that spoken in Italy. The same goes for the Spanish, Greek, Hell even the English isn't the English from England. The "melting pot effect" I guess has affected language as well. It's nothing to be surprised at really. Generation after generation being born in NYC the language is spoken less and less second to English so it seems fair that the words would get bastardized no?

I'm sorry if you're "offended" by the way things are here, maybe NYC just isn't the place for you then. Whatever side you're on, townies or yuppies(or the even older term "Liberals"--HA! who remembers that one?) you have to have a pretty thick skin to make a life in NYC. Best of luck to you here.

Anonymous said...

hate filled posts stem mostly from socio cultural AND economic differences. carroll gardens may not have been as diverse (culturally and economically) as manhattan in the past, but there is absolutely no room for discrimination now that there is a shift in population.

the population of nyc keeps on growing and yet the area is not getting any bigger. one just has to accept the fact that you have to live with people who may have a different set of social norms than you do .

life is too short to be bitter.

Detale said...

I for one think just the opposite. Discrimination is in our nature. We will almost always dislike one group of people for a basically unlimited number of reasons. This has been going on since man has recorded history. We like to try to think we're evolved and better than that. There have even been great strides to overcome it somewhat, but its still alive and well on planet earth not just Carrol Gardens. The sad truth is that we still probobly have a few thousand more years of evolution to get over our differences.

In our little neck of the woods the discrimination goes both ways. As I said I don't discriminate and have even stood up for a yuppie or two when they were being picked on. I do see it happen though.

I just feel like that's just the way it is and we should all try and beat it, but at the end of the day you can't truly escape your nature.

Carroll Gardens Family since before St. Agnes was built said...

It's not Newbies vs. Oldies. It's neighbors vs. Out Side Interests.

There are several different tangents going on here, but it always seems to come down to Newbies vs. Oldies.

Do we need another bank? I don't think so. But it is one of the 1st signs a neighborhood with disposable wealth. The opposite would be a neighborhood with all dollar stores, Plexi-glass Liquor Stores, Check Cashing Places, etc. It's bad enough we have a methadone clinic & 2 store-front brothels within a short walking distance, lets not attack Positive Businesses.

Remember, we could be doing worse than a new Bank or Star Bucks.

Hey Old Timers (I'm one) remember in the 70's & 80's when you couldn't walk in Carroll Park, let alone send your kids there to play?
Hey Old Timers remember how excited you got when you 1st got $1,000 for renting your Run-down Walk-up? And now you get 2,000+
Who do you think is paying that rent - Rent in a building that you no longer have a Mortgage!
Hey Old Timers - You run a restaurant, OWN the building it's in and your family works there - so, why do you need to charge 2.00 for a watery glass of coke?

Hey Newbies - when you enter a "traditional neighborhood store" or restaurant, get off your phone 1st. Interact with the owner & staff.
Hey Newbies, say hello to the neighbor above you (or below you) before you start blocking the stairs with your bike.
Hey Newbies, if you can't afford the rent then send out for pizza. Please don't go into a restaurant and order a plate of pasta to be shared by 3 people & then ask for the check.

Hey Everyone - Just say "HI"
Hey Everyone - Just Smile at the person walking up the block.
Hey Everyone - Share a beer or a coke with someone who's at least 20 years younger OR 20 years older than you.
Hey Young Lovers - Look at that couple with the grey hair holding hands. If you're lucky that will be you in 30 years.
Hey OLD Lovers - Look at that grungy looking couple kissing & tickling each other. That WAS you 30 years ago.
(Hey Grungy Newbies - wash your hair more often, please.
And, Hey "Stale" Old Timers - please remember you can't wear the same sweater 12 days in a row without it getting a little rank)

But seriously - New Blood is Great!! Old Ways are fantastic!!
New ways are fun!! Old Blood is tired, BUT waiting to be rejuvenated. Let's combine all our history & knowledge!!

Communication is key.

Remember it's not Newbies vs. Oldies. It's Neighbors vs. Out Side (business) Interests.

Anonymous said...

Wow - what comments people make over a shop closing! I am a lifetime 'gardener' - 50+ yrs in the same neighborhood. Unfortunately, and fortunately - things change, that's life. We get used to things, but our neighborhood has become very much NYC with all the chain shops, because that is what people look for. WE, the ppl in this neighborhood push old business out without even thinking about it. Because we want what every other area has. We have become Anytown USA. It is a shame that our Mom & Pop shops are closing, but that is what we made this are into when the landlords got greedy and loved having $1000 + rents when they had no mortgage on a house that they paid $10,000 for in the late '70's. As far as the new comers, they do feel entitled because they now pay such high rents. It's a catch 22, and all are to blame. This is our neighborhood - all of ours, and we should start acting like neighbors, not like idiots with this "old timer" "yuppie, newbie" attitude. If you want to live somewhere that is a neighborhood, be a neighbor. Support local business so we aren't just a stop on the F train.

C.G. Family since St. Agnes was built said...

Anon: 4/12/13 @ 10:57

Exactly - it's up to all of us, OLD & NEW, to start acting like neighbors.

If you want to live in an Old Fashioned Neighborhood, then start acting like Old Fashioned Neighbors.

As I wrote earlier - - -

Hey Everyone:
- Just say "HI" to each other (and to everyone)
- Just Smile at the person walking up the block.
- Share a beer or a coke with someone who's at least 20 years younger OR 20 years older than you.

Hey Young Lovers - Look at that couple with the grey hair holding hands. If you're lucky that will be you in 30 years.

Hey OLD Lovers - Look at that young couple kissing & tickling each other. That WAS you 30 years ago.

We have MORE in common than not. Communication is key.


Anonymous said...

The news of Good Food Grocery store going out of business at the end of April has genuinely angered and upset so many people and generated so many passionate comments on Pardon me for Asking, Carroll Gardens Patch, Brooklyn Paper, and I Lived in Carroll Gardens when it was called Red Hook, just to name a few of the sites with articles on this subject. If you read the comments, so many are unfortunately blaming this event on “types of people”…..hipster, yuppies, newbies, oldies, old-timers, leftovers, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, clean, dirty, foreigners, natives, various ethnicities, but amazingly so no one is directing their anger or looking at the “root cause” of this devastating neighborhood news and blaming the real source.
According to the article in the Brooklyn Paper, this all came to be when ”Investors Bank approached the owners of Good Food Grocery store a year ago in hopes of buying them out, and open a branch in the storefront that occupies the two adjoining buildings owned by the Good Food brothers as early as September”. Why did Investors Bank have to approach the owners of the only supermarket in this part of the neighborhood? Yes, Good Food was more than just a mini mart or bodega, they were a full fledged supermarket just smaller in scale. They carried all the tried and true brands of food and other items that people love and need for their every day survival. they were also open when people needed them, early in the morning and late enough at night for the return to home working crowd. Now while there are other food stores on the same block, these are specific in the types of product they sell for example, one sells mostly organic products another which claims to be Gourmet and Fresh, selling expired cheeses from the first day they opened and of course the Italian specialty store across the street selling only Italian specialty foods, closing promptly at 6:oopm. At least an hour and a half before the working people get home.Why did they purposely choose to hurt a community and create a hardship for so many? A bank is supposed to support communities, not destroy them. Shame on them and on one of the bankers in particular who will be working in that office. This particular banker used to work a the bank on Court and Second Place just a block away. He knows the neighborhood and the people in it well. Did he initiate this whole process? Soliciting Good Food? What is in it for him? He needs to examine his conscience as he tries to solicit a new client base. Investors Bank, didn’t you realize this store served a large concentration of people in this immediate area? This store was the neighborhood’s lifeline and you have severed it. ten to 15 blocks the average distance to the major grocery stores in the area, is a lot to walk every time you run out of something for young and old alike. In every interview, the owner’s brag about how good the were and indeed they were! Taking phone orders and delivering even on container of milk to a person in need, what is that person going to do now? No other stores provide that service. A history of good deeds, 35 years all eradicated, all in the name of greed, Investors Bank, you should have really thought aobut what you were doing to people, creating a major hardship, depriving people of their daily food and services.
You have no idea, how many people are really so very distraught over this. So very sad…..basic food stores are necessary to our survival, especially this one which was way ahead of its time with quality products, personalized service, know your customer and delivery any time. Think about this as you try to solicit new business for your sparkling new location. Carroll Gardens folks, think about this too, we have many hometown New York bank already in our neighborhood, all very close by, we do not need to give our money to an un welcomed New Jersey base Investors Bank, one that has knowingly and willingly hurt and brought hardship to all the “people types” of our beloved neighborhood.

Allyn Howard said...

I'm happy for them, but I'll miss Good Food, especially bc the owners are so nice! I have a friend who lives above and probably shops it a few times a week. They always have the best & biggest oranges and avocados! Hard to believe we need another bank over here?? As you mentioned, it will be particularly difficult for older residents in the area. Who else would deliver a single eggplant, including extras from which to choose?

CGdesigngirl said...

I am late to this posting, but would like to add to the comments. I have mixed feelings about Good Food closing. I moved to Carroll Gardens from Seattle 9 years ago. I always thought Good Food felt like a sad grocery store (I ditto the time warp comments. I thought Key Foods was just as bad and was glad to have a CVS). I once tried Good Food's fresh mozzarella, and thought it tasted old (I LOVE caputo's mozzarella). I used buy local jarred pasta sauce at Good Food, along with italian orange soda in the big bottles, and maybe the occasional rolls of toilet paper and cat litter. I do prefer shopping at Trader Joes, Park Natural, and Gourmet Fresh. I am glad to hear that they are going to retire comfortably, but sad to hear a never heard of bank is going in it's place.