Greg’s market property slated to be sold at public auction
MIDDLEBURY — The former owner of Greg’s Meat Market at 3 Elm St. in Middlebury has filed for bankruptcy protection and the property is expected to be sold at a public auction early next year.
That news was delivered to the Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday by Jamie Gaucher, the town’s director of business development and innovation. Gaucher also noted that the mortgage on the Greg’s property is being held by TD Bank.
Greg’s Meat Market had been in continuous operation under that name as an independently owned grocery store for 34 years until April 1. That’s when co-owner Bart Litvin announced the store would close.
Litvin and Lisa Hartman had purchased the store from longtime owner Greg Wry in December of 2009. It was Wry who established the supermarket in place of Stan’s Shop & Save back in 1981.
In announcing the store closure back in April, Litvin said “Revenues were unable to service the debt, thus forcing a transaction. There is a potential sale, which Greg’s is still negotiating. We believe the county needs an independent, locally owned source of groceries and are hopeful that either a buyer or an entrepreneur will revive the grocery business at this historic location. To our many loyal customers and partners, thank you.”
Several prospective buyers have taken a look at the property, but none have elected to take it on. It closed with the owners in substantial debt. Middlebury officials added the store was left with food still in the freezers. The basement became flooded and the building’s electrical system is damaged, officials said.
Gaucher told the selectboard on Tuesday that he has personally led two developers on a walk through the property, but neither expressed interest in pursuing a purchase.
“The place has gone downhill bad,” said Wry. “I hate to see it go down. I had 30 good years there. It’s so sad when I go by (the business).”
Wry said he would love to see the business re-opened, but acknowledged the property — which includes the adjacent building that hosts Pool World — has “a lot of issues.”
Gaucher pointed to the prospect of a public auction this coming January or February. Wry, through his attorney, indicated a potential timeframe of March or April for the auction.
Litvin has moved to New Jersey, according to Gaucher.
Recent efforts by the Independent to reach Litvin by email have been unsuccessful.
Middlebury officials are keen on seeing a new business occupy — and maintain — the former Greg’s property. It has been an important retail presence on the edge of Middlebury’s downtown for decades. The board on Tuesday decided to postpone talking about installing sidewalk on one side of Exchange Street (from the corner of Elm Street to MacIntyre Services) in hopes that the future of the Greg’s property might soon be clarified.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].