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Tuesday
Jul212015

Closed for Business: Urban Wellness, 72 Seventh Avenue

Urban Wellness, the supplement shop that opened on Seventh Avenue between Berkeley and Lincoln in late March, has closed for good. The shop is in the process of being cleared out and was locked up over the weekend.

The blink-and-you'll-miss-it shop sold specialty health foods as well as a variety of vitamins and supplements. It also sold fresh juices (or "elixirs") and some housemade foods like salads and crostini.

While the shop had a Facebook page, its low-key signage never did a good job of communicating what was for sale (or even if the shop was open or not), and with competition incluing Back to the Land and the Park Slope Food Coop nearby it never really found a niche. Even though it didn't just sell vitamins (supplement offerings ranged from non-psychoactive vaporized cannabidiol to herbal mixtures intented to kill off parasites), the market was just too niche, and many potential customers probably didn't even know it existed.

At four months in business, this closed a full three months sooner than the shop that came before it, The Walk-In Cookbook, which was around from August 2013 to March 2014. While it's nice to see the landlord giving niche local businesses a shot in this high-rent space (The Walk-In Cookbook sold recipes along with perfectly-measued ingredients), neither of those businesses seemed exactly destined for success.

These two storefronts were renovated and restored at great expense by the building's owner in 2012 after restaurant La Taqueria moved out. The last incarnation of Ozzie's Coffee (Renamed Noella Brew Bar) and DIY pottery studio The Painted Pot were quick to move in after the renovation, but The Painted Pot soon moved up the avenue, so now both of these attractive storefronts sit vacant.

With such a poor track record, it'll be interesting to see whether the landlord fills these spaces with yet more risky tenants, opts for something potentially more stable like a chain, or simply allows them to sit vacant.

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Reader Comments (26)

I don't feel bad they closed as I know for a fact that numerous neighbors came by and offered suggestions for the lack of business. Nearly no signage and internet presence was at the top of that list. The staff did not seem to agree with the suggestions and now they've paid the price. This must be a record in terms of opening and closing. You really have no business acumen at all if you opened a business in a $8000 a month space and didn't even have reserves for 6 months. But then you again, you have to have no business acumen at all to even think you could make a profit selling vitamins and cover $8,000 a month in rent. And you have to be just downright stupid to think you could do all that around the corner from 2 places that sell top quality vitamins for half the price they charged here (Co-op and Back to the Land).

Just stupid, zero business sense people opened this. We see this all the time around here.

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRick

These spaces need food, not these twee little shops that cater to 2% of the neighborhood.

Open a Joe Coffee or a Xian Famous Foods or some known quantity that the neighborhood will love. You already kicked out the much loved La Taq that people STILL talk about now that used to be in this space with lines every night for their burritos. How about a Dos Toros? There are so many options but apparently this landlord is as dumb as the people he's been renting to.

How about Court Street Grocers? This area desperately needs a place with better prepared foods and sandwiches with quality ingredients. How about a garden shop? Where does one go to get flowers around here? I get the impression the landlord prefers to keep these places vacant due to the fact that Painted Pot left months and months ago and that spot is not only still for rent, but sits vacant at the same price with zero price chops.

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I walk this area twice a week and was always past this storefront before it registered that it existed. You know how you walk and mentally tick off "dry cleaner, coffee shop, nail salon"? This space was always "...what is that..." territory. I was never able to tell what business they were in - spa, supplements, food, holistic consultations? Whatever I could see from the street never clarified it or tempted me enough to go inside. Hopefully a business with a clearer identity and focus will move in.

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAllisonT

Being a landlord doesn't mean you have any sense in choosing tenants . The Park Slope Chamber of Commerce should be ashamed for having utterly failed to support and educate landlords in choosing the right tenants for a thriving and diverse community .

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

This is Exhibit A in stupid landlords. They pushed out La Taq because they thought they could raise the rate exorbitantly and have now had the space empty more often than not since then. Despite the divisiveness over La Taq, it was a convenient place for a rotisserie chicken or burrito, and its presence is missed. Now, we just get empty storefronts and idiotic businesses doomed to fail from Day 1.

I agree with Lisa: Get some food in there that's good and open until 10 or 11 on weeknights. It would do just fine.

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVLM

Never heard of it.

And I live 2 blocks away.

July 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I have NEVER had a burrito that could stand up to La Taq burritos...I miss them terribly. I didn't realize that the landlord pushed them out...sounds like Two-boots. And what do we get for it? Another real estate office. Stupid,AND a disservice to the community!!!

July 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

I loved this shop!

It was an outstanding store and am terribly sad to see they closed.

Everything I bought in the store was second to none.

Have purchased vitamins over the years and typically would never finish a bottle and end up throwing them away. Turns out they were synthetic and just could never bring myself to keep taking them. The organic vitamins I purchased at this store have been the first ones I have ever managed to successfully keep taking. Not only that, have never jogged for more than 5 minutes in 25 years and since taking the vitamins recommended at Urban Wellness have been jogging 45 minutes around Prospect Park on a regular basis. This is not me it is the vitamins. Have never had energy like this before. THANK YOU URBAN WELLNESS!!!

Anyone commenting negatively about this store, it is my belief, could be a 'plant' from another competing store in the area, or at least has not experienced the business when making such pointed negative comments when the store was actually so wonderful.

Rather than try to just make money by offering every product under the sun, Urban Wellness had only researched the finest. I really miss them.

July 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHappy Local Customer

Happy local customer:

If they were so great, they would have stayed in business longer than 2 months.

They have the exact same organic vitamins at the Park Slope Food Co-op for half the price of Urban Wellness. They are also cheaper at Back to the Land. You really think I'm a plant for these places?

The person here who is the plant is YOU from Urban Wellness. Couldn't be more obvious.

July 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIna

Hi Ina,

Have been searching Back To The Land and Coop (which I love and am a member of) or some of the products which I was introduced to by Urban Wellness. Some I am unable to find and others I purchased cheaper at Urban Wellness.

I loved their store and you seem to be upset by this.

I find Back To The Land a little cluttered and not as clean. While they are bigger, I find it a more confusing environment.

I personally loved the more specialized selection at Urban Wellness.

Am a huge fan of the coop, as mentioned, they do not stock many products I found at Urban Wellness.

This is why I miss their store.

Just cod a store doesn't 'make it' doesn't mean they were not great and I did not love them.

August 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHappy Local Customer

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