CHATHAM – After more than 30 years in town, the Organic Market will close its store here on Nov. 3 in order to concentrate on its other markets in Dennis Port and at Mashpee Commons.
“We're really sad to not be in that location anymore, but really excited about what the future holds for us,” said Rory Eames, president and owner of the company.
Prepared foods have become a major part of the Organic Market's business at the Dennis Port and Mashpee stores. “We find that's what's bringing people in the doors,” Eames said. But the food service has not been as successful in Chatham. The Chatham store, located at 1218 Main St., lacks a kitchen, and to invest in one did not make sense given the seasonality of the community, she said.
“We can't do what we're doing well without adding that component,” she said of a kitchen. “It was a really hard decision to make.”
Eames' mother, Darby Zurik, began the natural foods market in 1978 in a 600-foot space in West Harwich. The business moved to Dennis Port before opening Chatham Natural Market in 1985, first at the Marketplace plaza in West Chatham, then at The Cornfield and later in the current location. The Dennis Port store opened in 1996, with Mashpee following in 2014.
The store sells organic foods, vitamins and supplements. Eames said they began selling prepared foods and other products such as smoothies in Dennis Port about five years ago and that aspect of the business has “really grown. We're putting more and more resources into that part of the businesses.” There was a major expansion of the Mashpee store's kitchen this past summer.
Chatham is much more seasonal in terms of population than the communities where the company's other stores are located, she added.
“If I thought I could deliver on the promise of the brand in a good way in that space I would do it,” Eames said. “But economically it doesn't make a lot of sense right now.” She stressed that closing the Chatham store was a choice in order to continue to grow the business and be able to give back to the communities they serve.
All of the current staff in Chatham will move to either the Dennis Port or Mashpee stores, said Eames, who lives in Harwich. There will be free delivery throughout November for Chatham customers placing orders of $50 or more, she added, and at the beginning of the new year the company will launch an online ordering system through its website, omorganicmarket.com, so local residents can place orders to pick up at the Dennis Port store.
“There's no good time to do it,” she said of closing the Chatham store, adding that it made more sense to tie things up at the end of the year rather than struggle through another winter.