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Food Universe in East Elmhurst to Close, 58 Jobs to be Lost: State Filing

The Food Universe supermarket located at the Jackson Heights Shopping Center, pictured, is slated to close. Fifty-eight employees are going to lose their jobs (Photo via Google Maps)

April 26, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

The Food Universe supermarket located in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center is slated to close and 58 employees are expected to lose their jobs.

The supermarket, located at 75-55 31st Ave., is operated by Key Foods and the company notified the New York State Department of Labor last month that the store is permanently closing on June 6.

Key Foods will lay off the workers once the store ceases trading, according to a WARN notice filed with the state. The workers are members of the UFCW Local 342 and UFCW Local 338 trade unions, according to the filing.

The company stated “sale of business” as the reason for the closure.

Key Foods and Food Universe could not be reached for comment.

The 31st Avenue store opened in 2016 and residents say it plays an important role in supplying groceries, fresh produce, meat, supplies and other products to the community.

They say the closure will have a devastating impact on residents as well as the workers who will soon be out of a job.

Community activists plan to hold a rally outside the store on May 7 in a last gasp effort to convince the operators of Key Foods to reverse their decision. The rally will take place at noon in front of the store, according to a Facebook event post about the rally.

“Without this nearby and easily accessible grocery store, the seniors and people with disabilities in our community are forced to travel at least a half-mile or more to purchase food and other important supplies necessary for living,” the Facebook post reads.

“We want to send a loud and clear message to the Key Foods Corporation that we want to save our local grocery store!”

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16 Comments

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Peter c handras

I will be holding a rally and put the food universe protesting Dominican non-union supermarket moving in and firing all 58 employees we will not tolerate that

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Olivia

I have worked in this location and been a customer too for many years, the store is clean and friendly atmosphere and tht goes to the employees too.

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Olivia Soriano

I have worked in this location and been a customer too for many years, the store is clean and friendly atmosphere and tht goes to the employees too.

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Stephanie

It’s horrible this is happening. Nobody care for the seniors and the people losing there jobs It’s a disgrace

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Pamela Parker

All of the businesses in the shopping center will be affected by the loss of the “ anchor tenant” ( the supermarket).

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Renee

This store closing will be a hardship on the local community especially the seniors. Can’t the elected officials come to their aid.

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Mary Nunez

It’s so true that there is no where close to shop for Seniors and people with disabilities.There had been a supermarket there for over 50 year’s.

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Neil E Collins

Online purchases has hurt retailers and minimum wages has all time high by democrats. You lost White Castle on 88th & Northern Blvd as well. More to come people use Amazon

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Javier

Can you please stop blaming Democrats? Why do people like you always have to politicize everything?? Do you think the security guard at the supermarket is asking customers if they’re Republican or Democrat before they enter to shop? Stop being a part of the hate parade. You can always move to a Red State if you hate Democrats. Ron DeSantis will welcome you with open arms.

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kay quijada

We need our grocery it is the most convenience store for all who live in this area especially senior people. Please please do not close it also the employees are friendly and always helpful.

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