Last Updated: Jun 10th, 2014 - 15:09:45


Grocery store files for bankruptcy
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Jun 5, 2014, 15:02

JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT The parking lot was busy Thursday as customers came to Food Depot on Oaklawn Boulevard to get groceries that were marked down 30 percent as the store was liquidating is merchandise.
PRINCE GEORGE ó Food Depot has begun the process of liquidating its merchandise after the grocery store filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

The store, which has been in the Crossings shopping center in Prince George since 2010, was busy Thursday as yellow signs were posted throughout the store announcing that all items were 30 percent off. The prepared foods area and bakery were mostly vacant.

In the bankruptcy petition filed June 2, Farmers Food Webb Avenue LLC is shown to have assets between $0 and $50,000 and debts between $100,000 to $500,000.

The filing states that ďafter any exempt property is excluded and administrative expenses paid, there will be no funds available for distribution to unsecured creditors.Ē

The bankruptcy filing included a list of 15 creditors for a total of $247,844.56.

Debts include $62,500 in unpaid rent to RCC Crossings LLC; $40,199.22 for leased equipment from IBM Credit LLC; $32,000 for electricity to Dominion Power; $29,880.57 for equipment rental to Western Equipment Finance; $22,478 for advertising to the Progress-Index; $22,000 in unpaid taxes to the Virginia Department of Taxation; $13,750 for advertising to the Hopewell News; $10,360.85 for a business license to the County of Prince George; $7,500 in advertising to Hermes Publications LLC, which prints the Prince George Journal; $2,545.92 to Southern Refrigeration Corp.; $2,500 to Floorco Cleaning Solutions; $900 in utilities to Prince George County; $600 for trash collection to Virginia Waste Services Inc.; $525 to Virginia-American Water Company; and $105 to Dodson Bros. Exterminating Co. Inc.

The sole owner of the company, John D. Farmer, serves as the president and CEO.

Farmer started in the grocery store business at the age of 14 as a meat cutter and opened the first Farmerís Foods in 1965, according to the companyís website which is no longer online.

The location near Hopewell changed its name from Farmerís Foods to Food Depot in October 2013 as a way to try and boost business. The store changed its model to offer goods at cost with a 10 percent fee on top.

Then Chief Operating Officer Buster Madison said the model worked well at stores in both Louisa and Kenbridge.

In April 2014 however, a group of Baltimore retailers, as well as Madison, bought four of the chainís stores, according to the industry news publication Food World. The stores included the ones in Louisa and Kenbridge as well as Luray and South Boston. Farmer kept stores in Hopewell, Highland Springs and Dillwyn, Va.; and Edenton, N.C.

The Highland Springs location in eastern Henrico filed for bankruptcy on May 20.

Company officials could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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