Though it had only been open a short time, the Johnston Street Adrien’s Supermarket had already become a favorite for many shoppers in the area. A clean store, fresh meats and specialty foods, a solid selection of Louisiana products and a hometown atmosphere, its hallmarks pulled business in from the east side of Johnston Street. The new store benefited from the many shoppers who now have easy access thanks to the Camellia Boulevard bridge, while the Congress Street store less than a mile away continued to serve its loyal base of customers. Situated at the corner of Camellia Boulevard and Johnston Street, the store is in the Grand Marche shopping center.

But on Sunday loyal shoppers got an unpleasant surprise when they arrived to a sign on the door noting that the Johnston Street store had fallen victim to a slowdown in the local economy.

Adrien's is owned by Pat Palombo, who bought the grocer in 1999 after working there almost three decades. Palombo could not be reached for comment this morning.

It’s unclear what effect the bankruptcy of Affiliated Foods Southwest, Adrien’s Arkansas-based wholesale food distribution cooperative, might have had on the decision to close. On May 5, a week after it said it hoped to sell or merge, Affiliated Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said that it was in the process of liquidating its assets.

Real estate and development professionals agree that the best use of the roughly 22,000-square-foot space is a grocery store — a locally owned grocery store (that part is my humble opinion). Message to Palombo: Whatever the case, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that something can be worked out. We want our Adrien’s back!

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