The full-service, independent grocer, Vine Ripe Markets has closed on North Avenue East in Westfield.
“The reality is, the rigors of running a small business are tough for everyone,” owner Frank Bruno explained to TAPinto Westfield, telling the news site that a number of factors led to the store’s closure.
Bruno had successfully transformed a dilapidated car dealership into a sprawling marketplace, best known for its bread oven that churned out hot loaves all day long and its fresh house-made mozzarella. Bruno was also well known for his support of the community, fundraisers and other neighborhood events.
May locals were saddened to hear of the closure.
“I’m very sorry to hear this,” said Pamela Conway Kevelson on Facebook. “With the closing of the Central Ave fruit farm a while back, there’s just fewer and fewer places to run in for the basics without having to navigate a crowded parking lot or get stuck behind someone buying a ton of lottery tickets.”
“So sorry to lose them. Went there at least twice a week. Great deli, bakery and prepared dinners. Good luck to all who worked there,” added Michele Dal Bon-Mottley.
The future of the 9,300 square-foot space remains uncertain.