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Chicago’s Treasure Island Foods, in business there since 1963 and once described by Julia Child as “America’s most European supermarket,” has announced ton its employees that it is going out of business and shutting down its existing six stores.

Company president/CEO Maria Kamberos, in a memo to employees that was posted on social media, said that management had “made the very difficult decision to wind down operations as a company … We are sorry it has had to come to this point and we know how detrimental this is to each and every one of you and your families. We have done everything we could to attempt to get the company on solid ground to try to operate for another 55 years … Unfortunately, given the current industry conditions, it has been impossible for us to continue to operate without losing money.”

The story makes it sound as if this did come not come as a total surprise to local observers, since it closed down its Lincoln Park store last month and had “pulled out of a planned location at an Uptown development.”

The Sun Times writes that founder Christ Kamberos, who died in 2009 at age 83, “opened the first Treasure Island Foods store on Broadway near Cornelia with his brothers in 1963, building up the chain’s reputation by traveling the world to bring unusual organic produce to Chicagoans.” And, the story says, the Chicago-born son of Greek immigrants “was remembered as a curious innovator always on the lookout for the next big thing in food.”
KC's View:
There was a time when Treasure Island was cutting edge, but based on my last visit or two to one of its stores, I have to say that it seemed as if time had passed it by. They had some decent real estate, but the format was tired and creaky, and certainly couldn't stand up against more modern, progressive and relevant competition.

It always is sad when a retailer like this goes away. But if you want to delay the inevitable end to the circle of life, you actually have to move forward.