As recently as last week, Pemberton refused to comment on the situation. Early this week, he decided to announce the official closing date.
Cliff Davis, spokesman for Crescent Market, said while this is the end of one chapter, it is not the end of Crescent Market. He noted that this is not the original location. The family-owned store has been in several locations since starting downtown and with each move it grew and thrived.
above, A shopper selects from fresh produce at Crescent Market, located at 6409 Avondale Dr. in Nichols Hills.
With customers flocking to Sunflower Farmers Market when it opened in late August, and with Whole Foods Market opening Oct. 12, Davis said those were factors in Pemberton’s decision, but that it also gave him a chance to really think about the future of the store.
“The Pembertons welcome healthy competition,” he said. “That’s how people grow.”
Davis said Pemberton has a stack of cards from real estate agents ready to help his store find a new home. When the store closes at the end of the month, there will be no temporary location until a new space can be found. Davis said the store would ideally open somewhere in a 5-mile radius of its current location.
“It really is just simple math,” he said. “Crescent looks at this as an opportunity to move forward.”
While an auction conducted by Dakil Auctioneers is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 8 at the store, Pemberton stressed this is not the end for he and his wife, Beth, in the grocery biz.
“If something gets up and going, and I go north or downtown with something new, I’ve got the names, addresses and numbers of all my employees and they told me they would drop everything and come back with me,” he said. “With this closing, it will have a trickle-down effect on many people. … But with us closing down, I realize the city has to keep growing.”