'Difficult decision': Nature's Corner closing its two Jersey Shore grocery stores

Nature's Corner Natural Market, which has touted its "small town, feel good" atmosphere for nearly 30 years, is closing up shop, owner Ed Levy announced on social media.

"It’s the end of a chapter in all of our lives," Levy wrote in a Facebook post. "I wish nothing but the best for all of you in your next one."

Nature's Corner Natural Market has two stores. One, the original store, is on Route 71 in Spring Lake Heights and the other, which opened in 2019, is at the West Long Branch Shopping Center on Locust Avenue.

In the Facebook post, Levy said a plan for a closing date will be set in the next few weeks. He could not be reached for further comment.

Nature's Corner Natural Market in West Long Branch.
Nature's Corner Natural Market in West Long Branch.

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Levy, a clinical nutritionist and wellness expert, started Nature's Corner Natural Market in 1995. The market sells organic produce sourced from local farmers, and organic and natural groceries, milk, dairy and meats. It also has an organic juice bar, organic soup and salad bar, prepared foods, nutritional supplements and body care products.

"After nearly 30 years of being in business, I have made the difficult decision to close Nature’s Corner for good," Levy wrote. "Many factors played a role in this decision; COVID, the hiring crisis, wage increases, inflation, recession and competition from big box stores. The list goes on, but I won’t bore you all with the details."

The grocery competition in Monmouth County is intense and changing. The major supermarkets like ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Super Foodtown all tout their organic offerings. Dean's Natural Food Market, another homegrown organic grocer with stores in Shrewsbury and Ocean, was purchased in 2021 by Mount Kisco, New York-based Green’s Natural Foods.

Customers also have other choices, such as Whole Foods Market, and discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and Trader Joe's.

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Ed Levy, owner of Nature's Corner Natural Market in Spring Lake Heights and West Long Branch.
Ed Levy, owner of Nature's Corner Natural Market in Spring Lake Heights and West Long Branch.

"Nature's Corner has always been a truly special place, for staff members and customers alike," Levy wrote. "It has been a sanctuary where people can come and escape from the divisiveness of the outside world while getting the highest quality natural products available. Especially during the last few years.

"And you, our dear customers, have made that a possibility over the last 30 years, and I (and all of the staff members) am eternally grateful to you."

David P. Willis, an award-winning business writer, has covered business and consumer news at the Asbury Park Press for more than 20 years. He writes APP.com's What's Going There column and can be reached at dwillis@gannettnj.com. Join his What's Going There page on Facebook for updates.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Nature's Corner Natural Market closing Jersey Shore grocery stores