Economy claims long-time retailer of gourmet foods
Rod Bader, owner of Blue Bounty Fish and Gourmet Foods, says 2005 was a record year for sales and profits.
Just three years later, Bader was forced to close the venerable 30-year old specialty seafood store at Moana Lane and Lakeside Boulevard due to sagging sales.
“This was the shock of my life that something could crash this fast,” he says.
Bader, 64, says Blue Bounty’s business was down at least 30 percent and kept falling when the general economy crept into a recession. And though Blue Bounty had weathered rough patches before, this downturn was unlike others because it lacked a bottom.
“It was so much deeper,” Bader says. “We went through ups and downs in the ’80s, but I don’t see any relief. If I could see some relief down the road it would give me a little more incentive to try and do something. We fought this thing to the last inch.”
Bader opened Blue Bounty in 5,000 square feet at the Moana West Shopping Center in 1978. The company employed six, with some seasonal help. The store will remain open during the next few weeks to move the last of its inventory, which currently is reduced 50 to 80 percent.
“People just weren’t spending money on the products that we sell,” Bader says. “We all have to cut back in a lot of ways, and the first thing people are going to give up are the more expensive foods.
“It is a tough time for all small businesses,” he adds. “I don’t have a lot of faith in the economy right now.”
Blue Bounty shares a front door with Ben’s Liquor, but the store has its own door on the right-hand side of the 10,000-square-foot liquor store. Ben’s owner Jamy Keshmiri hopes a deli or similar eatery will lease the space and said he has no interest in expanding.
“It would be nice if we could get someone that would compliment our business like Blue Bounty did for years,” Keshmiri said.
Dean Person, broker for the Moana West Shopping Center, will market the space.
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