CARROLL GARDENS — For 34 years, Mike Sales has come to his Court Street store almost every morning at 8 a.m. and closed shop at 7:30 p.m.
On April 30, he’ll be closing the store for the last time.
After decades of serving Carroll Gardens, Good Food at 431 Court St., is closing its doors. Deli counters, once filled with sausages and roast chicken, now lay bare, along with shelves of pasta, fresh mozzarella, cereals and vegetables that were slowly emptying out.
“We just want to retire,” said co-owner Sales, 56.
The store’s closure was first reported by Pardon Me For Asking blog.
The Italian-American grocery store will shutter at the end of the month and soon after, it will turn into a bank, said Sales, who owns the shop with his brother. When the bank approached them almost a year ago, the Sales brothers decided to hang-up their aprons.
Born in Italy, Sales moved to Carroll Gardens when he was 12 years old, living only a block away from the store. It was a time when the neighborhood was predominantly Italian-American, he said.
Sales is going to take it easy for a while. Maybe even make a trip back to Italy, a country he last visited five years ago. But saying goodbye to his beloved store won’t be easy.
“I still can’t believe it,” he said.
Locals continue to traipse in an out of the store on a recent Wednesday afternoon, for bread, fresh tomatoes, pickles and a little banter.
“You’re too young to retire,” said a customer, many of whom were shocked to hear the news.
“You’re never too young to retire,” Sales replied.
“Where are we going to eat?” said Susan Bitterman, a local resident who’s been coming to the store for almost 20 years.
Bitterman walked out of the store with her bag of groceries, but she looked back at Sales and said, “Thirty-four years is nothing.”
As she left, Sales replied softly, “I think it’s time to move on.”