The Key Food supermarket at 25-03 Parsons Blvd. in Flushing is going to close its doors at the end of June if an agreement cannot be reached on the lease.
The move is going to put a burden on seniors, who have mobility issues, and residents who don’t have sufficient transportation alternatives to carry groceries. It will also cut out a major source of American products that will be harder to find at nearby Asian markets, residents say.
Bosco Wong, the manager of the supermarket, said he learned about the closing three to four weeks ago.
“It’s very upsetting,” Wong said about the closure as he was putting prices on products. An employee of Key Food for 38 years, he’s been a manager of the store for two months.
As for what will happen to the employees, Wong said that some will be laid off and others will be transferred.
He is unsure about what the future holds for him. “Hopefully I’ll be relocated.”
But he hopes the landlord will come to an agreement with Key Food and stay open.
Nearby residents who depend on the store are troubled by the closing. “I’m going to miss it,” said Joe Santo, who shops at the store twice a week and carries his items three blocks to his home. “I’m going to miss the convenience.”
Pauline Alfani, who shops at the Key Food almost every day was “not very happy” to hear about the closing. Alfani heard about it at the senior center she attends. She lives across the street and doesn’t know of any markets nearby.
“I really hope it doesn’t close,” she said as she carried her one bag of groceries back to her home.
Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn Bitterman, who is also a shopper at the supermarket, said she has gotten a number of calls from residents who are upset over the closing. She realizes “it’s a business decision,” but that seniors are going to suffer the most, especially those with limited mobility.
“There are a lot of seniors in the area who use that market,” Bitterman said. “I feel very, very bad for the seniors who it’s going to affect.”
She also said that Key Food has essential products that sometimes can’t be found at Asian markets.
“A lot of the products that are sold in an American supermarket the Asian supermarkets don’t carry,” Bitterman said. “Whatever American products they do sell are much higher priced than at Key Food.”
Kenneth Schuckman, the vice president of Schuckman Realty in Woodbury, LI the broker for Lana Realty, which owns the property, stated that that a new supermarket will replace the Key Food store.
“The intention of the owners of the property is to keep it as a supermarket because the supermarket is there to service the community,” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
He wouldn’t say which stores are interested in replacing Key Food, but that the “ownership is negotiating with different operators.”