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Goodbye, Good Food: Classic Italian grocery to close, bank to open

The Brooklyn Paper
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Say ciao to the fresh mozzarella, veal cutlets, and homemade roast beef.

Good Food, a beloved, no-frills Carroll Gardens superette that served the brownstone enclave for more than 80 years will soon shutter, marking the latest old-fashioned food store to succumb to the borough’s rapidly changing culinary landscape.

On April 30, brothers Mike and Allegrino Sale will close up shop for the last time at their Court Street grocery, making room for a bank that will take over the space they bought in 1979.

“I never had it in my mind that I was going to sell the store,” said 59-year-old Allegrino in a thick Italian accent as he sat beside the specialty supermarket’s sparse shelves. “We got this offer from the bank and we took it because this is like a pension for us.”

Investors Bank, which approached the brothers a year ago in hopes of buying them out, will open a branch in the storefront that occupies the two adjoining buildings owned by the brothers as early as September, said Allegrino.

And longtime shoppers are crushed to see the Italian grocery close.

“It’s very sad,” said an emotional Michelle Perlstein of Fourth Place, who has shopped at the store for the last 30 years. “It’s going to be very missed — they have the best meat you can get.”

The Sales will retire with the undisclosed sum made from the deal, but time away from the counter won’t be easy for the brothers, who hawked fresh cuts of meat and Italian delicacies seven days a week, from 8 am to 7:30 pm.

“It didn’t dawn on me that there’s going to be one day that I’m going to get up and I’m not going to come in the store,” said Allegrino.

“I still can’t believe it,” 55-year-old Mike chimed in.

When the Sales, who immigrated from Mola di Bari as teenagers, took over the supermarket, they left the original name but added Italian favorites including homemade mozzarella, Nutella, imported pastas, dry sausage, and Prosciutto di Parma. They even made their own sausage daily using the same 60-year-old meat grinder favored by the original owners, the Bruno brothers — and they plan to return that contraption to the Bruno family as a keepsake, along with the old butcher block, said Allegrino.

It’s the joint’s homey atmosphere, decent prices, and, well, good food, that kept loyal patrons coming back all these years, despite the debut of Gourmet Fresh just two doors down and the arrival of megastores including Fairway and Pathmark not far away, Allegrino said.

“This was like a family store,” he said, adding that he and Mike always cut customers deals if they were shortchanged and made deliveries mostly to the elderly, who make up a large portion of their customer-base, even when the order was a single eggplant or one carton of milk.

The Sales said they wish they could keep the store open, but their sons opted against taking over the family business.

“Everything comes to end,” a teary-eyed Allegrino said.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Suffocating Soyboys says:
What a shame. I'm actually amazed that this store isn't being replaced by the 47,000th "vegan organic specialty" store tailored for the nasally fauxhemian clones that have invaded Brooklyn.

Its so so so so relieving to know that here in still normal South Brooklyn we have plenty of old Italian, Jewish places that are going no where and even newer types of Russian, Mexican, Polish stores that are doing just fine. You can still get great food at great prices. No pretension; no costumes; no beards; no kazoo-voiced art poseurs - just pure Brooklyn. End of story.

F*ck the hipsters!!!
April 16, 2013, 6:47 am
bengee from coney says:
Another bank just what the neighborhood needed.At least it's not another drug store.What ——.
April 16, 2013, 7:01 am
ty from pps says:
diehipster --
Your pathetic rants are just pointless trolling. How did you make this into a 'hipster' story?! I was 99% sure I'd find your usual comment tacked to the bottom of this article, but I really don't know why other than you being slightly unhinged.

So, the story... Great store in Carroll Gardens patronized by many in the neighborhood... "old timers" and "hipsters" alike. The sons chose not to take over the business. The family received an offer. They took it. The store is closing. That's it.

This is not a gentrification story. And this is not an example of "the latest old-fashioned food store to succumb to the borough’s rapidly changing culinary landscape" -- regardless of what Natalie O'Neill and her sensationalizing pen say.
April 16, 2013, 8:46 am
diehipster from Actual Brooklyn says:
Tyler, you praying mantis physiqued soy boy. It's great that I have you and Intertwizzler from Kale Ave under my thumb. It's hysterical.

Yes this story is easily related to the hipyup gentrification devastation. Of course you don't wanna believe it though.

Funny how you two never can argue the obvious annoying facts I and others point out about hipsters - you can only say the grandma basement and post office nasal comebacks.

We win.
April 16, 2013, 4:25 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Wow, diehipster actually made a good point this time.
April 16, 2013, 5:31 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
I think DH is funny.
April 16, 2013, 6:17 pm
ty from pps says:
A bank is buying this store due to hipsters. Yup. That sure is a good point. No doubt.
April 16, 2013, 10:35 pm
Carroll Gardens from Carroll Gardens says:
The news of Good Food Grocery store going out of business at the end of April has genuinely angered and upset so many people and generated so many passionate comments on Pardon me for Asking, Carroll Gardens Patch, Brooklyn Paper, and I Lived in Carroll Gardens when it was called Red Hook, just to name a few of the sites with articles on this subject. If you read the comments, so many are unfortunately blaming this event on “types of people”…..hipster, yuppies, newbies, oldies, old-timers, leftovers, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, clean, dirty, foreigners, natives, various ethnicities, but amazingly so no one is directing their anger or looking at the “root cause” of this devastating neighborhood news and blaming the real source.
According to the article in the Brooklyn Paper, this all came to be when ”Investors Bank approached the owners of Good Food Grocery store a year ago in hopes of buying them out, and open a branch in the storefront that occupies the two adjoining buildings owned by the Good Food brothers as early as September”. Why did Investors Bank have to approach the owners of the only supermarket in this part of the neighborhood? Yes, Good Food was more than just a mini mart or bodega, they were a full fledged supermarket just smaller in scale. They carried all the tried and true brands of food and other items that people love and need for their every day survival. They had fresh meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables, milk, bread along with canned, boxed goods and other household items and of course all the specialty foods they cooked and imported. They were also open when people needed them, early in the morning and late enough at night for the return to home working crowd. Now while there are other food stores on the same block, these are specific in the types of product they sell for example, one sells mostly organic products no Nabisco cookies in here, another which claims to be Gourmet and Fresh, selling expired cheeses from the first day they opened and other rotten vegetables and only gourmet Neumann’s cookies not Nabisco, and of course the Italian specialty store across the street selling only good Italian specialty foods, closing promptly at 6:oopm. At least an hour and a half before the working people get home. There were so many other storefronts to solicit, such as the 2 empty spaces on 1st Place and Court by Vinzees and directly across the street, storefronts further down Court St going towards the BQE, Smith St, etc. Why did they purposely choose to hurt a community and create a hardship for so many? A bank is supposed to support communities, not destroy them. Shame on them and on one of the bankers in particular who will be working in that office. This particular banker used to work a the bank on Court and Second Place just a block away. He knows the neighborhood and the people in it well. Did he initiate this whole process? Soliciting Good Food? What is in it for him? He needs to examine his conscience as he tries to solicit a new client base. Investors Bank, didn’t you realize this store served a large concentration of people in this immediate area? This store was the neighborhood’s lifeline and you have severed it. We all need food every day. Some people can bulk shop, order from Fresh Direct, etc, but not everyone can, and even those who do, find themselves needing something every day anyway. Ten to fifteen blocks the average distance to the major grocery stores in the area, is a lot to walk every time you run out of something for young and old alike. In every interview, the owner’s brag about how good the were and indeed they were! Taking phone orders and delivering even on container of milk to a person in need, what is that person going to do now? No other stores provide that service. A history of good deeds, 35 years all eradicated, all in the name of greed, no wonder it is one of the seven deadly sins.
Investors Bank, you should have really thought aobut what you were doing to people, creating a major hardship, depriving people of their daily food and services.
You have no idea, how many people are really so very distraught over this. So very sad…..basic food stores are necessary to our survival, especially this one which was way ahead of its time with quality products, personalized service, know your customer and delivery any time. Think about this as you try to solicit new business for your sparkling new location. Carroll Gardens folks, think about this too, we have many hometown New York bank already in our neighborhood, all very close by, we do not need to give our money to an un welcomed New Jersey base Investors Bank, one that has knowingly and willingly hurt and brought hardship to all the “people types” of our beloved neighborhood.
April 17, 2013, 8:57 pm
MaryLoo from SouthPark says:
Wow. Betcha that hyperhipsta copped a sip from the green creek. :)
April 18, 2013, 12:45 am
Lydia Buffington from Carroll Gardens says:
Now, it's going to be hard to find my italian tuna. I might have to travel to Bensonhurst on llth Avenue. Because these other places don't carry it. You will truly be missed. The neighborhood is changing and we must make the best of it. So with one or two vacancies that we have, I hope we get a new italian store.
April 19, 2013, 11:31 am
ty from pps says:
WAIT a minute Carroll Gardens from Carroll Gardens... Umm... the "root" of the problem is the bank!?!? They approached the owners of the market.

Guess who is SELLING the market?!

Isn't *that* the root of the problem? Why didn't the owners say, "No, this store is too important for the community. We only want to sell to someone that wants to keep it a food market."

Nope. They didn't.

What did they do, Carroll Gardens from Carroll Gardens? They sold the store to the bank.

But, yes. The root of the problem is the bank for some reason. The party in this transaction that didn't have any power. A simple 'no' would have made them go away.

Such irrational ranting.
April 19, 2013, 6:12 pm

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