Ken's Fruit Market, a local grocery chain, started in 2010. Photo via fb.com
A grocery chain is closing one of its stores in a Grand Rapids suburb.
Ken’s Fruit Market said this week it will close its Wyoming location, at 830 28th St. SW, on Sunday.
Ken Courts, owner, said the decision was made due to difficulty attracting and retaining reliable employees at that location.
“We opened two years ago, and that store there has been the worst in the world for help,” he said. “I don’t know what the deal is, but they just don’t want to work. (We’ve had) more call-ins and no-shows than I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s been a nightmare.”
Courts said the store also hasn't turned a profit yet, although he expected that, since most retail establishments take two to three years to become profitable.
“With the way it’s been going, I don’t see it being good for us,” he said.
He said the other two Ken’s Fruit Market locations will remain open: at 2420 Eastern Ave. SE in Grand Rapids' Alger Heights neighborhood; and at 3500 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township.
“Everything is great at our other two stores,” he said. “More than great.”
The Wyoming location has about 25 to 30 employees. Courts said some will be given the opportunity to transfer to the other locations and some will not.
“With just two stores, you can’t place everybody,” he said. “We’re going to place as many as we can, but I don’t have a number on that.”
Courts said he is grateful to the customers who came to the Wyoming location during the past two years and hopes they will consider shopping at one of the other stores.
Founded by Ken Courts and his wife, Gina Courts, in 2010, Ken’s Fruit Market sells Michigan-grown produce and other products sourced from area farmers, processors and distributors.
Courts also recently purchased McCord’s Farm Market in Ionia, which he co-founded in 1982 with Steve McCord, and is in the process of re-branding it as Ken’s Farm Market.