Tuesday, April 23, 2024

One month later, Farmin’ Brands won’t talk about Farmin’ On Front closure

Calls to the store's parent company have gone unanswered and a potential re-opening date is not known.

Farmin' on Front has been closed for a month after suffering damage in Hurricane Florence. Its parent company, Farmin' Brands, has avoided questions about reopening. (Port City Daily photo / Benjamin Schachtman)
Farmin’ on Front has been closed for a month after suffering damage in Hurricane Florence. Its parent company, Farmin’ Brands, has avoided questions about reopening. (Port City Daily photo / Benjamin Schachtman)

WILMINGTON — One month after Farmin’ On Front shut its doors in downtown Wilmington, the store’s parent company, Farmin’ Brands, has been unwilling to discuss the closure or any plans to reopen.

On Oct. 8, Farmin’ On Front posted a notice on its Facebook page, stating in part, “Due to the effects of the storm and the subsequent aftermath, it has become necessary that Farmin’ on Front make immediate infrastructure improvements. For the safety of our staff and customers, Farmin’ on Front will pause its daily operations.”

The statement continued, adding that storm-damage had given the company the opportunity to make other changes to the downtown location.

“Farmin’ will further use this time to implement and integrate other changes to better serve you, our customer. Updates regarding our progress and re-opening schedule will occur as new information is available,” the statement read.

A month later, there have been no updates. Several calls placed to Farmin’ Brands President W.  Benjamin Long over the week between Nov. 5 and Friday went unreturned. Calls to Sharm Brantley, Farmin’ Brands Senior Director of Business Operations were also not returned.

At Farmin’ Brands main office and food campus, located just off of Kerr Avenue south of Market Street, cars were in the parking lot and the front desk was staffed. But a representative for the company said they would “have to figure out how to handle that information,” when asked about a possible reopening date. A reporter left a message and a business card, but never received a call.

Farmin’ on Front opened in downtown Wilmington in 2016, three years after Long closed the Carolina Farmin’ store on Market Street across from Wallace Park (part of the former location is now home to Burnt Mill Creek Billiards and Wine Bar). Shortly after closing, Long told reporters he aimed to open downtown in spring of 2014, but delays pushed that date back by two years.


Send comments and tips to Benjamin Schachtman at ben@localvoicemedia.com, @pcdben on Twitter, and (910) 538-2001.

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