Stanley’s Fruits And Vegetables at the corner of North and Elston avenues in Chicago was a mainstay for decades, with its iconic logo of owner Stanley Peters himself smoking a pipe while riding a watermelon (a good friend of mine once went as Stanley for Halloween). Many Chicagoans were shocked this week when Stanley’s abruptly shut up shop after 52 years, with no notice. Block Club Chicago reports that “On Monday, workers showed up to the market, 1558 N. Elston Ave., to find a sign on the door: ‘Employees come Wednesday for your checks,’” a truly horrific way for people to find out that they’re unemployed. Peters is currently in his 80s and in ill health, which helped contribute to his (and his family’s) decision to close the store.
Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. Block Club Chicago says that when those two dozen employees did come to get their checks, they were greeted by several employers who offered them job applications. Says BCC, those companies and businesses included Whole Foods, Moreno’s Liquors, and clothing store Akira as well as “a representative of the Chicagoland Retail and Hospitality Sector” who “introduced herself and invited the group to an April 29 job fair,” and a rep from a “nationwide staffing agency who had read about the workers’ plight reached out to Block Club Chicago and asked for help in contacting the employees.”
Many of the employees were thrilled by these prospects; one worker enthused about positions at Whole Foods that started at $15 an hour, because “most of the cashiers here made minimum wage” ($8.25 in Illinois). Best of luck to all those workers; here’s hoping they’re all re-employed extremely soon.