Cold-pressed juice pioneer Organic Avenue has closed its 10 remaining stores. The New York City juice and food chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week in an effort to allow the 15-year-old company to liquidate its assets, which it listed at $3.4 million, along with liabilities of $2.5 million. The news arrives as the final nail in the coffin for Organic Avenue, whose struggles over the last several years have been well documented.
In a January 2013 press release, private equity firm Weld North (which had just acquired a 70 percent controlling stake in the company) said Organic Avenue was “extraordinarily well positioned to become a national leader in both the rapidly growing $5 billion organic juicing industry and the $75 billion natural foods industry.” But in 2014, concerns surfaced about the company’s future after closing two of its stores and axing previously announced plans to open up several more locations. Then at the top of 2015, Organic Avenue laid off a third of its staff at its Long Island City facility.
This August, the company was sold for next to nothing to Vested Capital Partners, an investment firm specializing in turnaround projects. At the time of the sale, Racked explored on the dismal state of affairs at Organic Avenue, pointing to food waste as the primary source of monetary losses at the company. Sources told the online publication that Vested Capital Partners were considering utilizing high pressure processing (HPP) to combat those losses and extend the shelf life of its juices, though the idea never came to fruition.
Founded in 2000, Organic Avenue was at the forefront of the cold-pressed juice movement but has since been surpassed by brick and mortar competitors like Juice Press and the product’s increasing presence in grocery channels.