Almost exactly one month after the owners of the struggling in Malverne to close the Hempstead Avenue grocery store, they have changed their minds again.
The supermarket, the only one located in the village of Malverne, shut down Wednesday, but it might only be temporary. There were still items on the shelves, but the doors were locked and workers inside were waving customers away.
Among them were Ruth Santilla, an Oceanside resident who works in Malverne and regularly shops at the store. She was on her way to buy some milk and juices.
"I come in almost everyday," she told Patch. "I [also] buy bread, a lot of vegetables and meats. It's convenient, [the staff is] very courteous, prices were fair and everything is clean."
Santilla said she could have found some items cheaper at another store, but she'd have to drive further away.
Vivian Huber, a 30-plus-year Malverne resident, also valued the convenience of the store, which was five minutes from her home.
"I would run in a couple of times per week for bread, milk, and to see what's on sale," she said. "Their prices were a little high, but I understood why, you have to pay your rent."
In mid-July, Carlos Pichardo, one of the store's managers told Patch that the store was planning to close, but reversed the decision one day later after some residents pleaded with them to stay.
Pichardo had told Patch: "You have your loyal customers and people who stop in every now and then to pick up a couple of items, but you can't survive on that ... We probably held on to the store [longer] than we should have, but you can't just keep putting money into something."
But after meeting with customers and the management team, Pichardo said, "We're not going anywhere ... we sat down and decided, 'Let's try to push on and see what happens.'"
Pichardo could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but one of the men working inside the store, who chose not to disclose his name or title, told Patch the closure is only temporary. He said that Associated is working on finding a new owner to take over the supermarket and remodel it.
If they are successful, this would be while keeping the Associated name. He did not indicate how long the store would be closed. The last time this occurred the supermarket was shut down from December 2010 to March 2011, when it wasith a new look and new management. Before Associated took over the property, the grocery store was operated by C-Town for several years, and then IGA.
"We've been through four stores," Huber said. "Everytime you get another one you hope."