After 10 years, Colorado’s only all-vegan grocery store is closing up shop.
Nooch Vegan Market at 10 E. Ellsworth Ave. in the Baker neighborhood will operate through Saturday, owner Vanessa Gochnour told BusinessDen.
“The short answer of ‘why now?’ ultimately has to do with continued pandemic challenges,” Gochnour wrote in a statement to BusinessDen. “The last two years really did a number on us, like most other small businesses out there, and we haven’t bounced back in the way that we were needing to.”
Gochnour opened Nooch in 2012 in RiNo with her business partner Joshua LaBure, who left the business in 2015, and moved the store to its current location — a small unit just off the busy South Broadway corridor — in 2014.
Nooch sells vegan groceries, snacks and grab-n-go meals, along with other items such as books.
“Rising costs on just about everything and continued supply chain issues over the last year have been exhausting and are showing no signs of lessening any time soon,” Gochnour said.
She added, “So much in our small independent grocer realm is still so uncertain and unpredictable that it really just started to feel like the right time to go out on a little bit of a higher note than to continue on and risk potentially having to close without the proper funds to pay everyone.”
Gochnour and LaBure met while doing some work for an animal rights group and decided to open Nooch, which is a vegan slang term for nutritional yeast, as an extension of their ideology, according to the store’s website.
Nooch will host a celebration on its last day with food trucks out front from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. After that, Gochnour plans to sell off the store’s displays and equipment.
“I’m hoping to be able to pull some savings back out of the business and take a little break this summer,” she said. “Small business burnout is very real. I don’t actually know what I’m going to do next just yet. I have a couple things possibly in the periphery, but I really wanted to be able to take some time to decompress first before jumping into something else.”