Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer at 8229 Germantown Ave. is closing its doors on March 31 after decades of serving the community. The specialty foods store carried groceries that used to be hard to find. However, with the recent addition of Weavers Way Co-op at 8424 Germantown Ave. and the Whole Foods in nearby Plymouth Meeting carrying similar products, the need for an independent grocer has become obsolete, said manager Keith Jones.
“We’ve been here 25 years. I would definitely say we’re a staple of Chestnut Hill. People come up here to the farmer’s market then over to our store to get a smoothie on Sundays. It’s what people do up here. I’m a lifelong resident here and that’s what I always did,” said Jones.
They were also victim to the volatile economy, as many small businesses were.
Jones said that he feels the store discontinuing followed the trend of family stores in the area closing. However, he credited residents for not letting it disappear so easily.
Megan Schoen, Chestnut Hill resident and store patron, agreed. “Places like this store help to create a community. It’s always sad when stores like this leave,” she said.
Customers tell Jones and owner David Schieber every day how much the store will be missed. “It will be a loss for the community as a whole but especially the longtime residents of the area,” said Jones.
Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer will still maintain their residence in Reading Terminal Market. However, the quaintness of this town establishment and ties to the community will be lost.
“When a place like this has been around for this long, people feel comfortable with it. We won’t have that anymore and that’s sad,” said Schoen.