What's In Store

Organic grocer closes after less than a year in Plaza Midwood

Organic Harvest, which opened last year at 1330 Central Ave. in Plaza Midwood, has closed its doors.
Organic Harvest, which opened last year at 1330 Central Ave. in Plaza Midwood, has closed its doors. moyler@charlotteobserver.com

Organic Harvest, which opened last fall in Plaza Midwood, has already closed its doors.

The Alabama-based organic grocer and cafe at 1330 Central Ave. had its last day on Sunday after a weekend of clearance sales on groceries, beer and wine, according to its Facebook page. The store is now completely empty, and it’s not clear what will take its place.

Organic Harvest had remodeled the 10,000-square-foot space that previously housed Healthy Home Market. Started in 1979 in Charlotte as Home Economist Market, Healthy Home Market filed for bankruptcy early last year, months after closing its last Charlotte-area stores. As part of the bankruptcy, Organic Harvest acquired a number of the chain’s assets, including its cash registers.

It is not clear why Organic Harvest closed after just a few months in business in Charlotte.

Michael Maddox, a former Healthy Home Market executive who left the company in 2014, was CEO of Organic Harvest when the company opened its Charlotte store. He told the Observer that the grocer “reorganized and replaced” him in early January. An Organic Harvest representative could not be reached for comment.

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Interior of Organic Harvest, which opened last year at 1330 Central Ave. in Plaza Midwood. The organic grocer closed its doors Sunday. Melissa Oyler moyler@charlotteobserver.com

Maddox told the Observer last August that after the Plaza Midwood store opened, he’d like to open other Organic Harvest stores in the Charlotte region at some point. Organic Harvest operates one other store, in Hoover, Ala., and has another planned for Birmingham, Ala., according to its website.

Organic Harvest sells organic and natural foods, including fresh produce, meats and fish, beer and wine and several items in bulk, such as nuts and dried fruit.

Because the store closed so suddenly, Organic Harvest allowed other local organic food markets to put up fliers in its windows directing customers to their stores, according to Dironah Andrews, manager of Berrybrook Farm, which has been in business for about 50 years in Dilworth.

“We share customers ... and they wanted to give their customers someplace to go,” Andrews said of Organic Harvest. “It’s all about trying to help the folks who depend on supplements to keep themselves healthy.”

HHMUSE
The natural foods grocer Organic Harvest last year took the spot on Central Avenue previously occupied by Healthy Home Market in Plaza Midwood. Healthy Home Market filed for bankruptcy early last year and months later closed its remaining stores. On Sunday, Organic Harvest closed its doors. Courtesy of Healthy Home Market

CharlotteFive editor Melissa Oyler contributed.

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As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
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