Green Frog Market has been a northeast Bakersfield staple since the 1930s with one store on Alta Vista Drive and the newer one on Oswell street. But as of late Sunday night, the Oswell location shut its doors for good.
Green Frog's president Scott Hair says the closure is the result of a tough economy and major competitors.
"With the big box competition that came into east hills area, it rendered that store no longer an effective place to market groceries at this point so we had to shut it down," said Hair.
Hair says customer volume at the Oswell store dropped 50 percent this year compared with last year.
So how is it that the Owell location went out of business when the Alta Vista location could afford a major remodel last year?
"(The Alta Vista) store is surviving because of the remodel that we did on it. Had we not done the remodel here first it would've probably been the first to close," said Hair.
More than 60 employees are affected by the closure. Half of them will now work at the Alta Vista store while the other half were laid off. All of them notified over the weekend -- mostly by phone.
"I was going by hearsay. I didn't get a phone call. I had to make the phone call and ask where my phone call was," said Patti Holmes.
Holmes, who worked for Green Frog for 15 years, says management handled the layoffs poorly.
"I feel it was 100 percent wrong. They gave us no notice to look for another job. Over the telephone is totally unprofessional in my mind. They are not following union policy," said Holmes.
"We did everything according to the union contract that we have. There's no good way to tell people they're losing their job. I understand their frustration over losing their jobs but its a consequence of the economy and the nature of the business these days," said Hair.
Copyright Do you have more information about this story? Contact usReport a typo or inaccuracyCopyright 2011 by TurnTo23.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.