Dean & DeLuca struggling to pay its bills

Luxury grocer pulled out of 3 Manhattan leases last year

Dean & DeLuca SoHo and Sorapoj Techakraisri (Credit: Dean & DeLuca and Pace Development Corp.)
Dean & DeLuca SoHo and Sorapoj Techakraisri (Credit: Dean & DeLuca and Pace Development Corp.)

Gourmet grocery store Dean & DeLuca is battling landlords and suppliers as it cuts back on its ambitious expansion plans.

New York-based Elenis bakery, which has been a Dean & DeLuca supplier for 15 years, stopped shipping cookies to the store in December and claims it’s owed $86,000, the New York Post reported. And Manhattan’s Ceci-Cela Patisserie alleges it’s owed more than $70,000.

“They said they would pay me 50 cents on the dollar so we sued,” Ceci-Cela founder Laurent Dupal told the newspaper. “If we wait too long, we don’t know what’s going to happen with the company.”

Meanwhile, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a landlord kicked the high-end store out for failing to pay rent totaling $96,000. Dean & DeLuca was also forced to settle with a landlord in London after plans for a store fell through.

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In Manhattan, the grocery store pulled out of three leases last year, including one near Grand Central Terminal.

Company president Laura Lendrum, who came on board last summer following a short run at Ralph Lauren, said Dean & DeLuca is “renewing our focus on our New York City and Napa Valley flagship stores as well as our e-commerce business.”

Thai real estate mogul Sorapoj Techakraisri’s Pace Development Corp. bought the chain in 2014 for $140 million and had looked toward an initial public offering this year with 100 stores in the U.S. and almost 100 more spread across 15 foreign countries. [NYP] – Rich Bockmann