Century-Old Grocery Chain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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Sickles Market, a family-owned grocery chain with a long-standing presence in New Jersey, has recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

Over a Century of Local Service Ended


The market, deeply ingrained in the local community, started over 116 years ago. 

Originally a farm operated by Harold Sickles and his wife, Elsie, it sold fruits and vegetables grown on land from Harold’s mother’s family, the Parkers.

Year-Round Success


Initially a seasonal business, Sickles Market evolved significantly in 1999 when it expanded into a year-round operation. 

This transition allowed it to serve its community continuously throughout the year. 

Bankruptcy Amid Success


Sickles Market, a staple in New Jersey for its high-quality, fresh produce and a wide array of gourmet items, has recently faced significant financial hurdles, leading to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. 

Known for Quality and Variety


The market has been celebrated for its exceptional selection of international cheeses, baked goods, meats from its butcher shop, deli offerings, and chef-prepared dishes designed for various tastes and occasions.

Why Did Sickles Market Close Its Doors?

Illustration. Image credit: Shutterstock

Despite this proud tradition, the financial reality has forced Sickles Market to close its doors, marking a significant pause in its long history of serving the community.

Hope Remains


In the midst of these challenges, there remains a glimmer of hope for a revival. Although the grocery locations are currently shut, Bottles by Sickles, a high-end wine and liquor store in Red Bank, N.J., continues to operate. The bankruptcy documents reveal a stark contrast between the market’s assets and liabilities, with $549,388 in assets against a daunting $5.2 million in debt.

Frozen Accounts and Liens


Further complicating the situation, Sickles Market’s business accounts at Northfield Bank and OceanFirst Bank have been frozen, and the State of New Jersey has placed a lien on its $400,000 liquor license. 

Despite these setbacks, there is an ongoing effort and hope within the company for a turnaround and eventual comeback.

Sickles Market’s Financial Burden


Sickles Market, once a thriving grocery chain, has unfortunately closed its doors amidst financial difficulties, owing a substantial amount of $4.5 million to its largest creditor, Northfield Bank. 

The company’s financial challenges extend further, with a total of 47 creditors including various vendors and landlords impacted by the closure.

Unsuccessful Expansion


Sickles Market has faced significant financial setbacks, which the owner, Bob Sickles Jr., attributes to an unsuccessful expansion in Red Bank. 

This expansion led to a severe cash shortfall, forcing the closure of the Red Bank location and a temporary shutdown of the Little Silver store.

Financial Recovery Efforts


Bob Sickles Jr. explained that the company has used up all its available resources to settle debts with employees and vendors. 

Despite these challenges, the team is actively seeking new funding sources to fulfill their financial obligations to employees and resolve outstanding vendor claims. 

Owners Express Regret and Gratitude


On their website, the owners expressed regret over the unforeseen closure and shared their appreciation for being part of the community for over a century. 

They highlighted their efforts to deliver quality and service throughout their operation.

Can Sickles Market Bounce Back?


Despite the closure, the owners of Sickles Market are optimistic about the possibility of reviving the business. They expressed gratitude for the loyalty and support they have received from customers, which they described as the kind of dedication that family-owned businesses strive for throughout their existence. 

The hope is to one day reopen and continue their tradition.

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