CHICAGO —Treasure Island Foods is closing its six remaining Chicagoland stores and shutting down after 55 years in business.
“It’s a loss of an institution in the community, and they’ve been very good neighbors too,” customer Jackie Kirley said.
Treasure Island began in the Chicago area in 1963, offering european products with an emphasis on organic items. Its founder built the chain’s reputation by traveling the world to bring unusual organic products to Chicago. Legendary chef Julia Child once described the family store as, "America's Most European Supermarket."
Only six locations remain, and they are all slated to close by October 12, if not sooner. As "Everything Must Go" signs go up, the shelves are already mostly bare in its Hyde Park location. Employees tell WGN they will offer 20 to 50 percent off on what's left starting Monday,
In addition to unloading food, the company has already gotten rid of many of it’s workers. Termination letters for workers were handed out Saturday, according to a worker who asked to remain anonymous. Treasure Island's closure is a grim reminder of the closing of Dominicks, another Chicago-based mega-grocery chain, five years ago.
Customers say with all the newer options, the writing on the wall was pretty clear.
"When Whole Foods opened up down the street, I had a feeling this could be closing,” customer Julienne Mallory said.
Neither managers at the Hyde Park store nor Treasure Island's corporate offices responded to requests for comment.