On 15th Ave. East in Capitol Hill last night, there was a small crowd gathered in front of the dark Rainbow Grocery, seemingly paying their respects to this well-loved, longtime natural foods store.
A few times over the last few months, I've noticed less than well-stocked shelves. The cashiers told me they were having some financial troubles, but no, they weren't going out of business. Last night, one bystander said that the store had been closed the day before as well, that this might be the end. More people stopped by the dark storefront, reading a letter posted by one customer, thanking the shop for its service to the community.
I tried to call the store, no answer. Their neighbors to the south, Rainbow Natural Remedies
(no relation, though there used to be one, 20 years ago) sadly confirmed that Rainbow Grocery is in fact closed.
One couple stopped to read the letter, carrying what looked like boxes from a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, seemingly the ideal Rainbow shopper. Or maybe they used to be. I over hear him say "Poor Little Rainbow."
And probably he's right, this small shop was mostly likely put out of business by the proliferation of organic food sellers: QFC right across the street, Trader Joe's and Madison Market just a small stroll away. By why---if the attention and sadness expressed by a number of passers-by serves as any indication of the affection felt for this small store--why no call for help, why no last-ditch fundraising effort to save this shop?
Does anyone know more?