Brach’s Supermarket, a kosher grocery store in Lawrence, is slated to close this spring, resulting in 127 employees facing layoffs, according to a state regulatory filing.
The 40,000-square-foot store at 11 Lawrence Lane is scheduled to close by May 1, after operating for nearly two decades. The layoffs are scheduled for the same time, according to the notice, posted Monday on the New York State Department of Labor’s website.
In the filing, the company cited economic reasons for the closing.
The store’s owner, Jack Brach, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Brach’s attorney, Jonathan D. Farrell, of Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone in Mineola, declined to comment.
Mischa Gaus, political director for the Brooklyn-based United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 2013, which represents the workers, said Brach’s owes the employees two weeks’ pay and health insurance contributions. The union is pursuing the matter with the state labor department, Gaus said.
“We are going to make sure our members are paid every dollar that they are owed,” Gaus said Tuesday. “We are also going to assist in any way possible to make sure that our folks have a smooth transition to their next employment.”
Gaus added that the employees had already made concessions on raises and their health care benefits in an attempt to work with the supermarket’s owners.
The kosher market’s founder, Sam Brach, was a supermarket pioneer, butcher and Holocaust survivor, according to published reports. Brach started as a butcher in 1959 in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, and later turned his small store into a kosher supermarket. He opened the Lawrence location in 1997, according to property records.
“I think this is a tragedy to see an independent business like this go out,” Gaus said. “We are very disappointed because we worked very hard to work with the employers.”