Hurricane Irma, declining sales force Epicure Market to close for good

Declining sales, storm insurance issues and interest from developers led to closure

Miami /
Sep.September 15, 2017 04:15 PM

A Miami Beach institution has closed its doors, serving its last customers prior to Hurricane Irma’s arrival.

Epicure Gourmet Market & Café announced the closure in a tweet on Thursday. The company attributed the closure to Hurricane Irma, “problems with storm insurance” and declining sales. Owner Jason Starkman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Starkman told the Miami Herald “a rash of interest from real estate developers who want to sublease” also contributed to his decision to close the store.

 

Open since 1945, Epicure was a mainstay in Miami Beach, as well as in Sunny Isles Beach. The market closed its Sunny Isles location in March and its Coral Gables store in 2015, terminating both leases early. In March, Starkman said he was looking for new locations and planning to open an online store.

Epicure was known for favorites like its matzo ball soup, tuna salad and pastrami sandwiches, as well as its gourmet market and bakery filled with rugelach, cakes, cookies and breads.

Starkman and his brother purchased the family business from the Thal family in 1998, according to the Miami New Times, which first reported the closure. It opened 72 years ago as a butcher shop and grew to a second location in Sunny Isles in 2008.

Records show the Miami Beach property is owned by Alton Road Investments LLC, a Delaware company managed by Robert Shor.

The market was facing increased competition from nearby grocery stores like Publix and Whole Foods. A Trader Joe’s is also under construction nearby, as well as multiple gourmet food halls. Businesses along Alton Road also suffered in recent years due to the the multimillion-dollar reconstruction of the street.


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