Fields Foods Closes Final 2 Stores

The local grocer closed its Lafayette Square and Downtown West stores Saturday

Sep 19, 2023 at 9:59 am
click to enlarge The Fields Foods in Lafayette Square was the chain's flagship location.
Sarah Fenske
The Fields Foods in Lafayette Square was the chain's flagship location.
Fields Foods' last two remaining locations have closed after months of uncertainty over the future of the small grocery chain.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Fields Foods' final locations in Downtown West and Lafayette Square closed Saturday with no notice.

The most recent closures come after the grocer's locations in Dogtown and Skinker-DeBaliviere halted operations in July. Fields Foods' store in Pagedale shuttered unceremoniously less than six months after it opened earlier this year, and another location in Clayton-Tamm closed in August with a sign on its door saying it would reopen in a few weeks under new ownership. It hasn't reopened.

All this occurred while Fields Foods fended off lawsuits for delinquent taxes and unpaid rent. Employees previously told the RFT that working for the grocer was a frustrating experience that involved dealing with troubling practices surrounding food safety and complaints from vendors who claimed they hadn't been paid.

After the Pagedale store closed in July, Owner Chris Goodson said he was "in talks" to sell all five Fields Foods locations to an employee ownership group.

Employees who previously spoke to the RFT were not aware of such a plan, nor of any "employee group." And Goodson's spokesman Paul Zemitzsch told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that the plan had not worked out: "There's no offer or deal. I'd say conversations have been fairly limited." The daily also reported that all employees had been let go and an auction agency would sell off remaining inventory.

Fields Foods launched with a mission to bring fresh food to St. Louis' many food deserts. What's on docket for the chain's empty buildings remains uncertain. But Goodson received a green light from the city just this summer to redevelop Cleveland High School in Dutchtown.

At the time, Goodson said he still needed financing. No word just yet as to how the Fields' closures will affect those plans.

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