A family-owned Carol Stream grocery store will close after almost nine years catering to a diverse neighborhood near the border with Wheaton.
The Village Market Place began offering steep discounts on groceries Wednesday and could shut its doors within two weeks, depending on what's left of its stock, said Louie Arvanitis, the son of the chain's owner and the manager of the store at the northwest corner of Geneva Road and President Street.
His family made the decision to close in the face of growing competition and to focus on their remaining store in Skokie.
Arvanitis described the Carol Stream Village Market Place as a homey, mom and pop grocer that carried specialty products and international foods -- "whatever the neighborhood wants."
"Unfortunately, we were too small to compete against bigger guys," Arvanitis said.
Larger competitors with deeper pockets posed a stiff challenge in recent years.
Angelo Caputo's Fresh Markets opened a 70,000-square-foot store about two miles away at North Avenue and Schmale Road in fall 2014, boosted by an economic incentive package awarded by the village.
In June, Aldi reopened on Schmale Road after a major renovation and expansion of the store's produce and meat sections.
The Village Market Place anchors a 52,600-square-foot strip mall with a bank and a pizzeria. The store had one year left on its lease.
The family wanted to extend the deal at a lower rent, but Arvanitis said the landlord was "not willing to negotiate in any way."
Property tax bills on the building this year were addressed to Egaleo Realty LLC in Brooklyn, New York, according to DuPage County records. Northbrook-based Aries Real Estate markets the Geneva Plaza shopping center on its website. Founder Brett Katz said he was not in a position to comment Wednesday about the future of the property.
Arvanitis' relatives, meanwhile, will continue to operate the Village Market Place in Skokie and plan to remodel that store.
In Carol Stream, a closing sale slashed 50 percent off the prices of groceries, except meats, poultry and produce.
Arvanitis credited loyal customers as the reason his family was able to keep the store running for as long as it did.
"The community has been wonderful to us," he said.