Old East Village Grocer to permanently close as of June 7

Inside the OEVG at 630 Dundas Street. Jay Zaski via the OEVG's Facebook page

A day after announcing it would re-open on Saturday, the Old East Village Grocer (OEVG) says it will be closing for good as of June 7.

In a statement, the social enterprise by ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities says its commitment to the Old East Village community “was part of the initial vision for OEVG” and that Friday’s announcement comes “with great regret.”

“Our goal with the grocery store was never really about generating profit,” said ATN Access executive director Andrea Topham.

“It was always about providing service to both our community, in terms of the availability of fresh and healthy food, and services to our clients to provide them with on-site job skills training. I think that’s what made it really unique as a social enterprise.”

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Topham says the organization needs “to focus on putting our resources towards ensuring the ongoing support of our clients.”

According to the statement, the closure is due to factors resulting from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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The grocer, which has been operating out of a converted factory at 630 Dundas St. just east of Adelaide since 2016, says it incurred additional costs “associated with the implementation of enhanced sanitization protocols, and increased security” and that “these added costs, in conjunction with pandemic-related staffing shortages, supply chain restrictions and unforeseen capital asset replacement costs” have made the operation “unsustainable.”

“We don’t have any plans to reopen at this time once the pandemic is over,” Topham added.

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“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their ongoing support,” the statement continued.

“It is with great pride that we were made part of the Old East Village community and with regret that we must say good-bye. We remain committed to our clients and will continue to support them in achieving their goals through our many program offerings at ATN Access Inc.”

READ MORE: ‘This is the definition of community’: Hundreds show for Old East Village benefit concert

The post came a day after OEVG said it would be preparing to re-open after closing on May 25 for “unforeseen equipment repair and maintenance needs.”

Remaining inventory will be offered at reduced prices until the end of the day on June 6, and the business encourages people to stop by to “stock up on food and supplies and to wish our staff well on their future endeavours.”

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