MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- The economic recession has claimed another victim.
The Farm, a grocery store on South Moger Avenue in Mount Kisco, announced last week it is closing, effective Aug. 31, after being in business for more than 25 years. The store, a popular destination for Mount Kisco residents and also people in Pleasantville, Chappaqua and Bedford, has stopped ordering inventory.
George Kim, whose family owns the store, blamed the recession for the closing.
“We’ve experienced a big drop-off every year since the recession,” Kim said. “Business has simply not been good. There’s no other reason to it.”
Kim said the store had experienced drops in business before, but the store usually recovered. But since the recession, business has not been able to recover and the family made the difficult decision to close up shop. Kim said he will miss his customers the most.
“It’s sad we are closing,” Kim said. “People are upset we are leaving. We feel we have been a small part of their families.”
Kim remembers meeting some of his customers as children and then watching them grow up, get married and have their own children.
Kim said other factors including Mount Kisco having inadequate parking and there is simply not enough to attract people to Mount Kisco.
“There are 17 banks in the village,” Kim said. “Why do we need so many? That doesn’t really draw customers into town.”
The closing of Borders in 2011 also hurt business, Kim said adding that Borders was a major draw in Mount Kisco and the village has been unable to fill the vacant space.
Kim, who lives in New Jersey, said he does not know what he will do once the store closes.
“Unfortunately, I have to go out and find a job,” Kim said.
Skyrocketing rent costs and other expenses, along with competition from supermarkets, have made it almost impossible for mom and pop fruit stands to compete, Kim said. He also noticed people are just not cooking as much.
“Mom and dad, once their kids leave the house, prefer to go out to dinner,” Kim said. “We can’t keep raising our prices. You can only raise prices so much for certain things.”
Kim said Mount Kisco used to be a nice town, but over the last 20 years, it has changed, with small businesses getting squeezed out.
“Every time there’s an empty space, a bank goes in,” Kim said. “They are the only ones willing to pay all that rent.”
Despite being forced to go out of business, Kim said he will miss Mount Kisco and its people.
“Everyone is so friendly in this area,” Kim said. “It’s not the same everywhere else.”
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