“We make stuff.” It was as simple as that motto that this beautifully crafted store operated. The Green Aisle Grocery stores were such a treat for the senses. Their products were simple, organic, healthy, and almost naif but not silly, founded by brother Adam and Andrew Erace. Their first store opened in 2009 when they saw a need in the South Philadelphia neighborhood for a trendy market specializing in local, organic, and gourmet foods. They opened their first store on East Passyunk Avenue, the oldest historically Italian-American retail corridor in the county, and expanded to Graduate Hospital and Fishtown, as well as several area farmers’ markets.
Their goal was to connect people with really great foods and products, things that benefit the planet, support the local and small business economies, and most importantly, taste delicious. They sold raw milk, grass-fed beef, fancy bitters, exotic spices, cookbooks, chocolates, and their own line of small-batch preserves, pickles, nut butters, and teas.
The Truth About Green Aisle Grocery’s Closing – Will It Come Back Someday?
Sadly, after more than a decade of providing their customers with high-quality products, Green Aisle Grocery announced on January 31, 2020, that it will be closing its doors for good. Right amidst the worst moments of the pandemic, the small chain just couldn’t compete with larger grocery chains that have expanded their specialty offerings.
The stores were located in areas between giant nationwide retailer chains, making it difficult to sustain their tiny shops in the face of well-funded corporate competition. In difficult times, people look for lower prices, no matter the quality or the service, and these kinda small businesses just can’t cope with this war.
“When we started, agave nectar was considered a specialty ingredient and Walmart grass-fed beef didn’t exist. The increased availability of this kind of food is a very good thing, and we like to think we played a very small role in that,” the Erace brothers said in a statement. “But it’s also made it harder to sustain our tiny shops in the face of well-funded corporate competition. This is especially apparent at our Grays Ferry Avenue location, where we now exist between a Giant and an Amazon depot.”
The farewell was so sad, and costumers were hearth broken when it was announced. “At the end of one decade, we started a business, a little grocery store focusing on local and organic food. At the beginning of another, we’re saying goodbye.” the statement said posted on the store’s official Instagram account @greenaisle.
“We’re not sad! We see 10 years in business as something to be proud of, and getting to know so many of you on a personal level has been a real privilege. Swipe for the full statement and come see us before the end of the month!” they added.
Green Aisle Grocery Best-Rated Products Will Be Missed by Costumers
The guys at Green Aisle Grocery specialized in organic products, made with love and with a lot of attention to detail. That was precisely one of the details that made the brand a friend of the neighbors. People saw Green Aisle as a place to go to talk about healthy and mindful eating, and it was a meeting place with neighbors and friends.
“Sorry to hear. 10 years! Good luck with your future endeavors!,” said a sorrowful costumer. “We love Green aisle and are sad to see you go!” another shopper added. A lot of people (like, a LOT) said that they will be missing products like the top-rated pistachio butter, and some other remembered their peach-raspberry small-batch preserve, that has no pair in the world. Their almond butter is also a thing to think of for years, since it was so delicious and there’s no other that compares.
Their Other Animal Coffee Roaster, Green Aisle private blend, was one of the best in the area. No sugar added when roasted, these ground or whole-bean specialty coffee will be missed.
How they made the canned products and jars
Local fruits and vegetables grown by certified-organic farms or uncertified farms that grow according to organic and/or IPM practices. Citrus is the only exception, which we source from a certified-organic, certified-biodynamic farm in Southern California.
- Organic raw cane sugar
- Organic cider vinegar
- Organic and fair-trade spices
- Kosher salt
Top-selling canned goods that were a big hit in their stores
- Garlic & Dill Cucumber Pickles
- Sungold Tomato Marinara
- Rosemary Peach Preserves
- Salty Strawberry Preserves
- Blackberry Applesauce
- Red Kimchi
- Smoked Cinnamon Amaretti Apricot Butter
The Closure of Green Aisle Grocery – Such a Loss for the Community
The closure of Green Aisle Grocery is a loss for the community, the Erace brothers are planning to convert their product line of small-batch preserves. One of their star product, organic pistachio butter, is missed by the costumers and just no comparison with the industrial-grade, sugar-packed (and with other additives) butters. They have made a significant impact in promoting sustainable and locally sourced foods and have left a lasting impression on their loyal customers.
Green Aisle Grocery will be missed, but the legacy of the Erace brothers’ commitment to quality and community will live on. Their story serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting local businesses and choosing high-quality, sustainable products that benefit not only ourselves but also the planet.