After 10 years, Colorado’s only all-vegan grocery store is closing.
The Nooch Vegan Market on E. Ellsworth Ave. 10 in the Baker district will be open through Saturday, owner Vanessa Gochnour told BusinessDen.
“The short answer ‘why now?’ ultimately has to do with ongoing pandemic challenges,” Gochnour wrote in a statement to BusinessDen. “The last two years have really taken a toll on us, like most other small businesses out there, and we haven’t recovered as much as we need to.”
Gochnour opened Nooch in RiNo in 2012 with her business partner Joshua LaBure, who left the store in 2015, and moved the store to its current location in 2014 — a small unit just off the busy South Broadway corridor.
Nooch sells vegan groceries, take-out snacks and meals, and other items like books.
“Rising costs of almost everything and ongoing supply chain problems over the past year have been draining and show no signs of abating anytime soon,” Gochnour said.
She added: “So much about our small independent grocery store is still so uncertain and unpredictable that it really felt like it was the right time to go out on a slightly higher note than to move on and risk potentially having to close without the proper funds to pay everyone.”
Gochnour and LaBure met while working 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 be having a celebration with food trucks out front from 11am to 6pm on his last day. After that, Gochnour plans to sell the store’s displays and devices.
“I’m hoping to be able to squeeze some savings out of the business and take a little break this summer,” she said. “Burnout in small businesses is very real. I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do next. I might have a few things on the periphery, but I really wanted to take some time to decompress first before diving into anything else.”