Balducci's, the World War II-era gourmet market, has closed its two New York City stores.
Shoppers expressed mixed emotions as the stores were quietly shuttered on Sunday.
“Do you really need chipotle raspberry finishing sauce? What is finishing sauce?” Barbara Colasanti, a 45-year-old teacher, asked The New York Times. “People don’t need all this stuff. It’s a lesson.”
The company announced several weeks ago that stores in Washington, D.C. and Ridgefield, Conn., also were being closed.
“It was a good convenience, there’s a lot of people in these skyscrapers,” Queens resident Leonid Sokolovsky said, “and all of them want to eat.”
Italian immigrant Louis Balducci opened a mom-and-pop fruit and vegetable stand in 1946. In 1972, he moved into an upscale shop.
Balducci introduced virgin olive oil and buffalo mozzarella _ considered exotic at the time.
In 1999, Sutton Place Gourmet bought Balducci's for $26.5 million.
The flagship store in Manhattan's Greenwich Village closed in 2003.
Six Balducci's will remain open, including one in Scarsdale, N.Y.