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Palm Coast’s Strathmore Deli Closes, Citing Overhead; Another Strip Now Stressed

| December 6, 2011

Replacing a real estate office and the Food Factory, Strathmore Deli for four years was the anchor of the Parkway Plaza strip. (© FlaglerLive)

All morning and lunchtime yesterday and today people have been walking up to the doors at Palm Coast’s Strathmore Deli—also known as Best Bagels & Deli, though that name never quite caught on—only to see a one-page notice, in caps, pasted three times over on the glass storefront: “WE HAVE MOVED OUR LOCATION TO ORMOND BEACH IN THE PUBLIX SHOPPING CENTER ON THE CORNER OF W. GRANADA BLVD. & WILLIAMSON BLVD. PLEASE VISIT US THERE FOR THE SAME GOOD FOOD. WE ARE SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE AND WANT TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR LOYALTY AND PATRONALGE.”

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The restaurant, big enough to seat 100 people, was open and doing its usual brisk business Sunday. Then, quite abruptly, it was over: some of its 22 employees had known that the place was shutting down. Some had not. They were told. And four years after Strathmore opened its doors, becoming something of an institution for local and far-flung patrons, it was gone. The owners were there Monday and Tuesday to tell customers in person, as often as possible, about the closure.

For Karyn and Alan Phillips, the deli’s owners, closing and moving the business has been “traumatic” and “a heartbreak,” in Karyn’s words, but made inevitable by the high overhead and a clientele that still wasn’t big enough to support the operation, especially in light of the area’s depressed economy and recent lunch competition from the newly opened Olive Garden, which Alan says has resulted in a drop of up to 20 to 25 percent in business this year compared to last.

For other businesses in Parkway Plaza, the small strip-mall where Strathmore was the anchor, the restaurant’s departure is a blow being felt especially by a place like The Sweets Boutique, which the mother-daughter team of Ginnie Mercer and Rachel Ross opened just five weeks ago. “We came here knowing all the traffic they pulled in,” Mercer said, standing at the door of her business that, in some 20 minutes this morning, wasn’t pulled open by a single person—unlike days when Strathmore was open, and when its patrons, whether waiting for a table or walking by, would easily drop in at the Boutique. “Would a store open up in the Target shopping center if Target weren’t there? So I’m not sure what I’d have done in retrospect if I’d known. It’s just disappointing. So we’ve got to figure out a new way of generating traffic in here.”

Rachel Ross, left, and Ginnie Mercer just opened The Sweets Boutique next door to Strathmore, banking in part on the restaurant's foot traffic, which dried up this week. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

And for Palm Coast, Strathmore’s disappearance is yet another blow to an employment and commercial base struggling to recover from the 2008 crash. Without an anchor, the health of Parkway Plaza’s future is tenuous, especially with a new commercial development built literally across the street, along Cypress Point Parkway. The Plaza’s empty storefronts will add to those at City Marketplace, also within walking distance, at Roma Court, at St. Joe Plaza, and at Palm Harbor (where another long-time presence, Discount Liquor Emporium, is closing its doors). It’s not that new businesses aren’t trying to make a go of it: they are. The Sweets Boutique is an example. But keeping the doors open is the challenge.

“If you lose 10-15 percent of your base and you’re in a marginal situation, that can push you over the edge,” Alan Philips said this morning. A significant share of his clientele was from out of the county, he said—St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Orlando, Ormond Beach, despite a population base of 75,000 in Palm Coast alone. But between the increasing costs of gas and food, plus Olive Garden, he had no choice. “How can I raise prices in Palm Coast with everything going on?” he says. “Frankly, who is succeeding in Palm Coast? Palm Coast is an economically depressed area right now. I don’t think anybody can dispute that.” He adds: “I’m not leaving Palm Coast because I want to.”

Karyn Phillips. (© FlaglerLive)

The New York-style deli had a somewhat pricey menu but an almost universally good reputation for varied and excellent food in generous portions, catering, private parties and even the occasional wedding. The serving staff was brisk and numerous, the atmosphere inviting and reflective of the Phillips’s combination of affable and outgoing. Karyn has been involved in numerous community organizations—she serves on the board of the Palm Coast Repertory Theatre, she started the local chapter of Toastmasters, she is involved in the United Way and Chicks with Cans, the food-raising powerhouse for the poor, and has ensured that the deli has maintained a open pipeline to local food pantries. But a few months ago she had a heart scare, spent four days in the hospital and was later diagnosed with takosubo, also known as broken-heart syndrome, a stress-related condition that replicates the symptoms of a heart attack.

“There comes a time, especially after my little scare, where you’ve got to change your life around, and it’s funny at Toastmasters I’ve given speeches on that. Don’t start living when it’s too late,” she said. So closing was a necessity. “It’s very traumatic for us and very upsetting, and we should have done it two years ago.”

Traumatic for unexpected reasons. Some of the employees were invited to work at the Ormond Beach location, but some were not. The Ormond Beach store is not a sit-down restaurant. It’s smaller. It employs less than half the staff that Strathmore did. And the handling of the closure of the restaurant may not have been handled in the most diplomatic way possible, triggering anger, altercations and threats. The Phillipses have been called at home and threatened, anti-Semitic slurs have been leveled at Alan, rumors have flown about the reasons behind the business’ closure—that it wasn’t paying its bills, that gambling was involved, and so on. Alan doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a tournament poker player, good enough, his wife said, that his tournament winnings have enabled the couple to pay bills rather than the other way around. Asked if the restaurant was current on its rent, Alan declined to say, saying it’s not anyone’s business to get into the business of the restaurant. Karyn said there were “issues” with the landlord, but would not elaborate.

Late Sunday evening, after the business had closed for good, three ex-employees showed up in the parking lot, angry. The transcript of the 911 call describes a scene where the ex-employees threatened those still at the restaurant and “that they wished RP dead.” RP is short for “reporting party.” In this case, it refers to Alan, who called 911. “Employees know where he lives and where his other business is,” the 911 dispatcher reported. The investigating deputy summed up the incident this way: Philips “Advised that he closed the business down without notice and terminated all the employees. The three ex-employees listed in the case came to the business while he was taking the supplies out and began calling him names and expressing their dislike toward him. They did not threaten to do physical harm, just expressed how they felt by using profanity.”

To Alan Phillips, that and other incidents, including the threatening call at home, have left him shaking his head and repeating that the business could not go on operating on 300 customers a day with the overhead it had. “If they want to enjoy my food,” Alan said, “let them come to my son’s place in Ormond Beach.” (The new business, which opened just a few days ago, is in his son’s name.)

Same with Karyn. “Here we were thinking about our employees, our customers, our community, and we were always last on that totem pole.” No more, she said: she wants to have time for a little living. And there’s always the deli in Ormond. “We did everything in our power but the well ran dry.”

Closed. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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75 Responses for “Palm Coast’s Strathmore Deli Closes, Citing Overhead; Another Strip Now Stressed”

  1. pcadiron says:

    So which is it, high overhead or health scare? They weren’t too concerned with overhead a month ago when they were telling customers that they were opening a SECOND location in Ormond Beach. That location has been in the works for awhile, so they clearly had the money to start that one up.
    Something with this story isn’t adding up. Shame on them for not giving all of their employees adequate notice! Now those people have to find new jobs in a hurry!

    • Karyn says:

      It is both. High overhead and health scare.Many employees had notice, some did not because we did not want employees not showing up to work (we had salaries to pay), damaging the property or taking goods.
      Ever hear of investors? Ever own a business?

      And what about the employees that were offered positions? Unfortunately, the Ormond Beach location is not a sit down, server style restaurant so we did not have positions for everyone.

  2. They should have let their employees know, I heard about a few weeks ago! Their prices were way to high, but their food was good.

  3. Kendall Clark-StJacques via Facebook says:

    I feel bad for the employees. The owners commented elsewhere that they have been talking about how bad the overhead was and that the employees should have known. Sorry but that’s wrong. Many restaurant employees probably don’t even know what the word “overhead” means. They should have been clear and honest with them instead of surprising them with this three weeks before christmas.

  4. Susan Gorski via Facebook says:

    I hope the real story comes out soon. This one has as many holes as the bagels.

  5. Brad West via Facebook says:

    Sorry to see them go.

  6. Eric says:

    That is right…shame on these poor business owners. Employees are a big part of a business…making it what it is or isnt. I think this husband and wife duo should take an ethics class. How could they just keep this a secret, mind you when Christmas is right around the corner. There is no excuse for this…to say that they were worried about employees not showing up to work is lame. So you are telling me the better result is to just say “sorry we are no longer opened” when employees show up for work. Totally uncalled for and extremely crappy. Wish I had never patronized this restaurant. I think this should be a BIG eye opener for the employees at the Ormond restaurant. I would never want to work for owners such as this. I hope the Ormond one goes under as well.

  7. Ginnie Mercer says:

    As one of the owners of The Sweets Boutique, I have compassion for both sides in this situation. It doesn’t matter in the long run what precipitated this tragedy because everyone has been hurt. But we need to move forward. Karyn and Alan will have a less complicated life with hopefully less stress and less medical issues. Hopefully another restaurant will quickly take over all or part of the space to fill the demand for a great breakfast and lunch spot, and the remaining businesses will need to engage in creative and innovative marketing to attract local patronage. Don’t hesitate to stop into local businesses to see if they can meet your custom requests; most small businesses that I know are extremely flexible and accommodating. Local businesses are always willing to go the extra mile for the customer. FlaglerLive offered a fair representation of the perspectives in this article, and I personally thank the reporter for his neutrality! Please support local business because your community depends on you! This should be a wake up call to the residents of Flagler County that every dollar spent locally is an important dollar for everyone! Thank you all for your support.

    • Eric says:

      Ms Mercer…you sound like a nice person…(also someone who is friends with these two owners). Maybe they will have a less complicated life now. But it sure would have been nice for them to give a heads up to their employees(as I stated earlier, helped make their business attract a nice clientele). Because right now I bet their lives are now more complicated. I too am a nice person..and the compassion I feel for these new unemployed people right now cannot be put into words. The bottom line is what the owners have done was completely wrong. When I read this article I felt sick.

      • Ginnie Mercer says:

        I totally agree with you, eric. I posted a separate entry about my empathy for the employees because both of us were in that exact position within the past 18 months. Have you ever been in the position where your livelihood and standard of living was destroyed by a corporate decision? I’m not on anyone’s side and am certainly not friends with any of the owners or employees. I don’t condone how the employees were notified of their termination, but I can understand the dilemma of assessing the risk by the owners. My intention was not to create controversy but rather to calm the waters, wish everyone well, and think about what can come next. I apologize if I appeared to be taking sides because I have empathy for everyone involved with a soft spot in my hearts for the employees (since I was there not long ago).

  8. Ginnie Mercer says:

    Our hearts break for the employees because we both have been in their exact position. In fact, being ‘eliminated’ from our jobs is what motivated us to start a small business , and we understand the emotional trauma. It’s been particularly difficult on a financial level, but being unable to find employment forced us to become self reliant and frugal. The employees of the deli are good people and will find jobs; in the meantime, they can at least collect unemployment. The whole thing is just a tragedy for everyone but everyone has to keep moving forward. The past is the past but the future depends on what you do in the present.

  9. A significant loss for Palm Coast. The tasty food, the excellent service and the waiting line seemed to indicate a thriving enterprise. Too bad all of this didn’t tanslate to a more positive balance sheet and less stress for the owners. My friends and I will miss the venue.

  10. The Truth says:

    I understand where these owners are coming from. Anyone who’s ever owned a business knows that not all employees are saints. I’m sure the owners informed some employees, but there is only so much they can do. Sure it’s sad this happens before Christmas, but the owners have to look out for themselves too. Theft and vandalism was definitely a possibility, especially judging by how some have already responded. What was the need to show up at the restaurant and cause problems?

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      If you have employees you can’t trust, why would you keep them on in the first place? Something doesn’t make sense here.

      Also, maybe it’s time for the state of Florida to have another look at having employers notify their employees they are about to be laid off.

  11. I. M. Agoste says:

    Could be the employees responded the way they did because now they’ve got to scramble for another job. Who’s hiring in this dead town?

    • The Truth says:

      It’s an unfortunate situation, don’t get me wrong. But how is this any different than someone getting laid off? Most people who get laid off don’t get any notice. They show up to work, they get called into office and told they have to be cut. It’s just the way it is. I feel bad for these employees, but at the same time I understand where the employer is coming from as well. They have to protect their assets, their investment and themselves.

  12. Billy Bob says:

    Why do we have 3 McDonald’s and 3 Wendy’s in this county? I’m SO sick of it. I’m so tired of them I make it a point to NOT eat there anymore. I drive by and see the lines of lemmings backed up through the drive thru. Gross. Why can’t we get something different, yet economical, around here?

    Long John Silver’s
    CiCi’s <– wow that would REALLY hit the economy target here if put in a good location

    To any restaurant owner / operator in Flagler County reading this: It's 2011. Not 2006. Flagler County. We need decent food at a reasonable price, otherwise we're not coming to your restaurant. If you think that's unreasonable then you're in denial.

    It's too bad when these restaurants close because it affects the other tenants as well. Which affects the property owner. Which affects all the employees involved in all of the businesses in the plaza. Which affects the property taxes when the entire place goes under. Everybody loses. You'd think the property owners would do everything possible to keep a solid business in there.

    Makes me think of Manny's who for so many years ran a solid business south of Flagler Beach until they got ran out. Since they moved to Bunnell I've been there, honestly, once. It's not their fault, I do like their food. If they were in the same place I would have been there 20-30 times by now. I wish they didn't have to move. But honestly, how many times does it come up in conversation "let's go to Bunnell for dinner tonight?" No offense.

    Point being things may get a whole lot worse before they get better around here, and good quality businesses are being deeply affected. I'm not sure who to blame exactly, all I know is the line around McDonalds is 10 cars deep 24 hours a day, and the food is so very cheap. And awful. My stomach is turning just thinking about it.

    • The Truth says:

      Want to know why there are 3 McDonalds and 3 Wendy’s in this town? Because that’s what people here support. Unfortunately, people in this city (and county) could not support restaurants like Strathmore and others. They would rather eat garabage at fast food restaurants.

      By the way, the restaurants you posted aren’t exactly any better than what crap McDonalds uses to make their food. If you think a $5 buffett at CiCi’s is quality food, you are sadly mistaken. There is a reason why CiCi’s is also known as FeCee’s.

  13. JD says:

    I say we make that spot a community bakery. I have the recipes just need some “bank” to make it successful.

  14. Marc0s says:

    Sad to see more vacant space here in PC. It’s weird when i moved here in 2001 I had to go all the way to Ormond for little things like landscaping (was before HD and Lowes, etc). Obviously I spend as much money as possible here in PC and I hope everyone else does too.

    Good to see some brave business owners starting up in this town at this difficult economic time – will make sure to stop by before the holiday!

  15. palmcoaster says:

    @The Truth.
    How could you call these employees tragedy, “to cause problems?” Today’s great American tragedies:
    This is the America forged since 2001 and is happening to these employees right before Christmas!
    The Truth is that the insensitivity shown by many while referring to workers, middle class and the poor is pathetic nowadays. Just vilifying words to further hurt them.
    Instead you should be seeking The real Truth and find out why local government, Chamber, Schools,TDC, Auditorium and Hospital among others outsource so many contracts out of the County creating jobs elsewhere so badly needed here. If hundreds more workers will have these jobs generated with our taxes and our paid services in our county, they will spend more in our local businesses like Strathmore Deli and also just closed Mis Amores Mexican restaurant and several more.
    Our local business are shutting down in droves all around us meanwhile our local FCCOC wines and dines itself, patting each other on the back “for a job well done”.
    Less exercise some compassion at least when referring to our fellow workers and also business owners in distress in Flagler County. Less hope for an investor to re-open another business in the same location soon. Unfortunatly I do not have the funds or I will do it. Palm Coast city officials need to be fair, promote less Town Center and concentrate more in promoting this North side of Palm Coast which small businesses provide jobs closer to home.

    • The Truth says:

      I did not mean to insult the employees of this establishment at all and if my comments came off this way than I do sincerely apologize if any are reading this.

      My point is this: the owners have a business, investment and assets to protect. If someone were to get laid off at a company of any sort, they would usually not get any notice. Why? Because if they know ahead of time they might not do their job correctly, they may not show up anymore, etc. I’m not saying I agree with it completely, but I can understand the business owner’s point of view.

      If they notify all their employees they’re closing up in a month, I would say a good portion of them would probably just stop showing up as soon as they find a job, without any notification. I’m sure if this happened, no one would be saying how they feel bad for the business owner. The unfortunate case is that this happens all the time. Sure, you have great employees and you have employees who just show up for a pay check. It’s unfortunate that the great employees are punished as well, but the truth of the matter is that the business owner was protecting themselves as well. I’m sure they would have preferred to tell every employee what they were doing, but it’s just not practical in this day and age.

      • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

        You are correct about the need for the owners to protect themselves, but they also have an obligation to their employees, perhaps a severance check for 30 days.

        There has to be a better way to do this. There was a time when this deli was making money hand over fist. Maybe the state needs to require deposits for each employee to cover a situation such as this.

  16. The Geode says:

    Christmas this. Christmas that. Who the flip cares about one measly day when they are concerned about the other 364? Millions of people are jobless and have been jobless for months or years, do you think THEY worry about one day erasing all their problems? The owners did what they had to do. I’m sure they had thousands stashed away to pay employees for milling around in an empty restaurant. …NOT! With this economy, EVERY job is temporary and should be treated as such.
    Most of you people who are worried about some manufactured retail day for the “over-indulgent” and spoiled have the luxury of sitting on your duffs passing judgement on people who are trying to make a living for themselves. Why don’t some of YOU offer the displaced employees a job? …oops. I forgot, you CAN’T!

    • The Truth says:

      I have to agree. Christmas has become so commercialized now when that was never what it was about. It’s about spending time with family and friends and celebrating the birth of Christ, not spending loads of money on gifts for people. I feel sorry that these people are job hunting again, regardless of what time of year they’re doing it.

    • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

      You know, you might be right… Think of the money families could save if they didn’t have to celebrate Christmas. Employers would not have to do anything special, including offering any time off.

      Schools could stay in session. Let’s eliminate Christmas for the over indulgent and spoiled. Let’s end it for everybody so we don’t have to listen to this anymore.

      How does that work for you, Geode?

  17. I'm just saying says:

    I wouldn’t mind Sammy J’s Boston Best Breakfast relocating to this location!! They have great breakfast.

  18. Cliff says:

    Anything but “NY Style Whatever.”

  19. palmcoaster says:

    JD go to the city BAC for financial help….
    I believe they can facilitate or promote a bank loan for an intended business.

  20. Lefty says:

    I can’t remember a day when that place wasn’t crowded. People used to squabble on the long line for the deli.
    “Not enough customers to support the operation.” Huh?!

    They weren’t exactly a cheap place to eat, either.
    People would KILL to have the customer traffic that Strathmore had. That place was very profitable and they made a nice living there. Only thing is they wanted to make a KILLING, not a living.

    I dig that sign on the door where they say “thank you” to their patrons by announcing that they’re moving to Ormond. Thank you for supporting our business, and a big pie in your eye!

    You know what? Their bagels gradually declined in quality during their four-year run.
    I’d rather go to Dunkin Donuts (up the road) for my sesame bagels. Those bagels are very good and consistent in quality.

    Bye-bye, and don’t let the door hit you in the derriere.

  21. blondie says:

    How could the opening of Olive Garden on the other side of town had an impact on a bagel shop?!?!

  22. tulip says:

    If PC took down SOME of the trees in front of these business, and had better signage so that people driving by can SEE the area, perhaps some of these businesses would still be here, because people would notice it and maybe drive in just to see what’s there. I pass by places all the time that are so well hidden, etc. I don’t even realize there there unless I’m looking for something specific.

    It’s also very difficult to read the store signs that are parellel with the road because the driver has to keep turning his head away from the road. A lot of businesses are tucked away in little plazas and not easily seen when driving by.

    Landlords need to keep the rent as is, NOT raise it, at least not in these times. They don’t seem to understand that if they keep raising rents, businesses leave and the landlord loses money.

    Oh well, JMO

    • The Truth says:

      I don’t think signage is the issue here. I think it’s the fact that a lot of people in Palm Coast want good food at cheap prices. You sure don’t see Golden Corral’s parking lot empty any time do you? Quality food costs money. Quality staff costs money. When prices are too high, the yappity yapps in our community run to the local message forum and talk about how expensive this is and others follow suit.

      I’m not saying that was the case here with Strathmore but it is with a lot of other businesses.

      Back to my point, I don’t think signage is the issue here. Sure, it would be nice to have huge signs at the entrance telling you all the businesses in that plaza, but imagine how hideous that would look as more and more places go up. There are many ways to find out about businesses. If people don’t want to spend money, signage won’t change a thing.

    • Begonia says:

      Tulip, they didn’t have room inside for another customer. This place was always packed.

  23. Mack says:

    I was going to write something mocking the people that felt this should’ve been handled more “ethically” and directly chide those that are still so oblivious to the fact that ALL jobs are temporary and that not preparing for something like this only makes you part of those that get weeded out in our man-made, economics-driven natural selection… but the comment by The Geode sums it up really well and simply clicking the like button wasn’t enough. Kudos, and best of luck to the owners at their new location.

  24. forwardthinker says:

    Right on Blondie… I agree. Olive Garden in no way could really impact this business. Anyway, good riddance… I am waiting for the PANERA to open in front of the Target center. I wonder if Olive Garden will have an impact on them, since they are practically right next door. NOT!

  25. Will says:

    Blondie – Strathmore was so much more than a “bagel place”. Many wonderful items were on their menu. Olive Garden only a few miles away could have made a large dent in Strathmores lunch business. The “other side of town” is not very far at all if you’re traveling by car. Of course, it could make a difference if you’re on foot…. :)

    I miss the place already.

  26. Someone Else says:

    JD: A business partner and myself were discussing opening a bakery here a year or so ago, but the overhead is indeed too high here, especially when you factor in that almost 1/5th of everyone you see in PC is unemployed, the income potential just isnt there in this town, probably never will be.

    • S. Salkin says:

      It was so great to have a deli of that calibre here in Palm Coast. What a shame! And what a shame, too, for the employees left out in the cold. I hope Palm Coast encourages more independent restaurateurs and makes it worth their while to stay here–too many mediocre chains around. I’ll sure miss Strathmore’s! I do wish they’d told ALL their employees, though.

  27. Begonia says:

    What if they built a town named Palm Coast and the rents were too high to lease space?

    Who benefits from that? That’s a good question.

  28. PJ says:

    Have no fear bagel lovers Scoops Cafe in the Publix plaza on Brllr Terre is our only fresh bagel shop as they bake them on premises. Please let’s patronize them before our only choice for a bagel is frozen.

    as far as Strathmore’s there is more to the story than we are being told.

    Good luck anyway Strathmore people.

    Let’s all go to SCOOPS CAFE!

    • not the truth says:

      Give Scops Café in the Publics shopping center next to Fire House Subs a Try! We appreciate the patronage of the Palm coast population and have gotten a surprising well reception from from former customers of our competitor. We bake fresh Daily and have been a family run business that has supported palm coast for 25 years. We know times are hard and we have keep-ed prices reasonably low in the current environment. Were now open 7 Days a week 6:30 Am- 5:00 pm come in we would be happy to serve You!


  30. Karyn says:

    Sub Base near Staples has been getting their bagels from Best Bagels & Deli i for over a year and will continue doing so. It’s the only kettle boiled bagel for 200 miles around.

  31. Back to Strathmore: Does the fact some employees were not notified mean that they also were not paid what they were owed? We will not be able to patronize them in Ormond, if the owners behaved so badly, regardless of how much I loved that place.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Stephanie, there is no indication that employees were not paid. Alan Philips specifically said that all vendors and employees were paid on time. He declined comment only when asked about rent.

  32. TheAirGuy says:

    Sad to see them go, I loved their coffee, practically addicted to the stuff! Anyway, I can’t stand by Alans abrupt departure without notice. I feel bad for his employees. I heard if he goes bankrupt he doesn’t have to pay them, I believe that if he didn’t have enough decency to let them know the situation that he could care less if they get paid. This guy always gave me bad vibes I could just never place my finger on it. Good luck on finding jobs in Flagler county!

  33. Anonymous says:

    As Flagler county residents lets put our money where our mouths are. We need to help anchor small or large locally owned businesses. What we don’t need (which we are guilty of ) is trying to turn these businesses into whatever little piece of the map we are from NY, NJ, MASS and so on. Let the business come into it’s own and develop its own unique style. I own a business here and have lived here for over 20 years, from NY. Trying to keep up with the overhead is hard enough let alone trying to please every customer/boss you may have. These days if your small your basically paying to work and that’s the truth.
    Go check out SCOOPES next to Fire House Subs Like PJ says. It’s a family owned business the family is established and have live here close 25 years or more. In these shaky times they will recognize you as a customer and not a dead president when you walk in the door.

  34. palmcoaster says:

    Unfortunately local small businesses have to endure the current bad economy and the depressed sales due to the high unemployment in Flagler County, as much as the outsourcing of taxpayers funded contracts creating jobs elsewhere that are needed here. Those lost local jobs if filled, will use the services of the local businesses. Many small businesses/suppliers renting/owning local store fronts, paying insurance and higher license to operate have also unfair competition from some home based that represent out of county suppliers and are granted local government contracts and not actually because open fair bidding is in place. In these difficult times all these factors contribute to the failure of many local small businesses and the worsening of our unemployment rate.

  35. tulip says:

    It has been mentioned here that the place was always packed. I don’t doubt what the posters were saying but, if the owners were doing that well, why did they close the business? There are other places that would “kill” for the amount of business Strathmore had, and are still in business seemingly doing ok.

    Very strange.

    • Jason says:

      Greed. The story about olive Garden is bogus. There is a lot more competition in Ormond. ‘
      Karyn, As you can see practically nobody believes you. If a full house with standing room only isn’t good enough then it must just be, greed.

  36. Karyn says:

    Enough already! I am setting the record straight. All employees have been paid. Vendors have been paid. Many employees were told prior to our closing. Some were not and after their disgusting behavior it’s a good thing they were not told prior. Many employees now work in the Ormond Beach location.
    In a small suburb of 17,000 we had the same kind of deli that served approximately 500 patrons a day. We rely on volume. In Palm Coast over the past 4 years we served approximately 300 people a day in a city of 70,000. When you do the math, it doesn’t come close to the overhead. But we carried the business, managing to pay everyone, but there comes a time when you have to cut your losses and move on.
    We have been very involved with the community and donated to every organization that asked. We have lived in Palm Coast for the past 10 years and continue to be active in many organizations in the county.
    Please know the facts before condemning us.
    Sub Base Bagels/Deli near Staples has been purchasing our kettle boiled bagels for the past year and continue to do so every morning so if you have a bagel urge and want to stay local, that’s the place to go.
    We have enjoyed our wonderful customers and have made many friends. We thank everyone that supported us and please support the small businesses in this city. Just because they look busy, you have no idea what is really going on.
    We appreciate everyone that helped to keep us going these past years.
    God Bless.

  37. FlaglerLive says:

    “dealingwithidiots,” your handle needs to be changed to something less broadly insulting if you’d like to see your comments appear.

    • Michele says:

      They were always supportive and continue to be to Flagler Playhouse in Bunnell. My family will most definitely go to Ormand for a great meal as usual. Best of luck to Alan and Karyn. See you soon.

      • Anonymous says:

        I worked for them at the new location they fired at least two people a week. I worked my ass off showed up early and did may job well and yet I almost got fired becaues I burnt some thing. Ok I give them the benifit of the doubt I did cost them moeny but is that any way to treat some one? What about having to ask for your over time pay 2 or 3 times and they payed that off the books . When they closed down they gave us a day notice! They claimed they just found out but they didnt order any food for that week so they knew. Still have not gotten my last check from them thats 310 they took out of my families pocket. They didnt closed down because of lack off biz they are lazy and didnt put the effort in needed to succeed all in all dont take their side

  38. tara says:

    also those employee’s that they didn’t tell were the employee’s that had been with them since day one. So those should have been the employees to get the notice they have kids, Christmas is comming, But they didn’t care because when allan was asked why he didn’t tell it was because he needed hem up until closing day for his business thats all he cared about not the people who stuck by him thru thick and thin.

    • Karyn says:

      As I said, some knew and those that did not know (only 3 were with us from day one), there was a reason for it. Alan was very generous to employees with money, advances on salary, food and much more.
      Things were never thin for you, you did very well as a server and much concern was given to you and your co-workers. Attacking us (threatening phone calls, personal assaults and malicious rumors) is not the way to get your point across. It just reinforces our decision to not let certain employees know prior.

  39. BRIDGETT says:


  40. Karyn says:

    Bridgett, we have never forgotten you before and will not now. If you have concerns maybe you should call us.

    • BRIDGETT says:

      I shouldn’t have to call because i was there on Sunday Allen said he didn’t have the money to pay me….
      He said it would be in the mail this week so I will be checking my mailbox. And Karen how did you expect those girls that worked for you for 4yrs to act. You have it wrong if you would have told them they could have found a job and there decent girls they would have waited and started working for the other company when you closed. Because they were making good money there. They only acted like that because they were hurt, then angry, It’s all about respect. Did they ever act like that before NO!!!! So don’t make them out to be bad people there not!!!! they just thought after 4yrs they earned respect

  41. patty says:

    I have had bagels and other items from this place and everything was very good. I cannot judge from the heavy customer traffic whether they were making a profit or not and what their overhead costs were. I also do not know what actually transpired between the owners and their employees so I cannot judge. There are two sides to every coin. I am just sorry to see another local business go down.
    What many of the residents of Palm Coast do not seem to realize is that by flocking to chain restaurants like MacDs. Olive Garden, Red Lobster etc. (either in the south side of town or the northside) and not supporting the locally owned restaurants enough, they are slowly but surely killing our town.

    Each time a “mom and pop” business closes down due to competition from the big chains, not only does the town lose a little bit of its character and charm but it adds in a bigger way to the general depressed outlook and joblessness in the town. And once that happens, you can bet your bottom dollar that the big chains will pull out so fast as to leave us in a ghost town.!!!! Ase all know, it has happened in many small towns in America.
    Therefore, wake up people and “buy local”, “eat local”.

  42. johnc says:

    Sad to see a local family bussiness close. Lets face it Palm Coast is in decline due to the short -sightness of our glorious local government. This business is not the last there will be more to come. The only reason that McD, Wendy’s, Olive Garden, survivie is that there is support. Advertising, branding, and couponing all make them attractive. With huge corperate advertising budgets they can make it.
    A local business Ha! dealing with overpriced rents, city red tape, no deep advertising budgets, who can start up a business? Health Scare? The VOTERS OF THIS COUNTRY CAN NOT RE-ELECT O’BAMA it will be the end of this great country. Health Scare will close thousands of local family business’s. You thought the last 3 years were bad, wait and see if that Jack ass is re-elected.
    I have been here since 02 and what I see today is depressing. I myself will be getting out of here soon, I can not afford to live here anymore!!! not with the dirt poor wages Flagler County is famous fore. There are some business owners that are filthy rich and pay their employess meager wages its all about greed!!!!

  43. palmcoaster says:

    Best bagels in town…Asiago bagels from the Sub Base across from Staples off Old Kings Road. Good for breakfast too.

  44. Andie says:

    I was in the bagel place that closed down once…..expensive bagels and very doughy…not anything like a typical NY bagel. The first time I went there it was two minutes after closing, which I had no idea what time they closed, and the employees inside just stared at me trying to open the door, and did not bother to say a word to me. Someone coming out of the place was nice enough to tell me they were closed. Why I even went back is beyond me but thank goodness all I did was buy a few bagels, they were not worth it at all. Publix has better bagels if you ask me. The way they handled the employees being fired is despicable, and its no wonder they didnt last long in PC. Lets face it, PC has nothing, if you want anything such as decent food, shopping malls, etc, you need to go to Jacksonville, Daytona, Orlando…..anywhere but here. This town is pathetic and I not surprised seeing businesses close down and employment is at an all time high…BUT, we have banks everywhere, why? Who actually has money that we need so many banks! Banks, gas stations, McDonalds, Wendys, which all stink as far as even fast food goes…

  45. palmcoaster says:
    Maybe the above enclosed report last July 2011 will shed some more light? I am wondering if Karyn and Alan would be willing and collaborate to allow the shop to reopen under another owner that will content itself with less revenue, after all employees and all expenses paid. Also if the landlord would be willing to collaborate regarding the, back owed, and/or rent rate. Karyn and Alan Phillip’s input would be vital. Maybe these jobs could still be saved, as the local customers would not drive to Ormond just for bagels given the price of gas.

  46. local consumer says:

    i for one cant blame them for shutting down—i work in palm coast and i see how people here behave….they all want something for nothing-and want it right away!–they need it right away because halfway through the first bite they are already forming the sentence in theyre own heads that they will convey online berating the local businesses…..

    strathmores was good service and pretty descent food-what do you expect from a bagel place anyway palm coast? gold lined bagels?

    this isnt a case of bad customer service like horrific pets{was literally smiling as that placed closed}—or that horrible movie theatre that was demolished–this is a case of the owners maybe realizing this is a fussy city with alot of self indulgent over bearing customers who carry around a feeling of self entitlement

  47. local consumer says:

    by the way lets make this clear-i do not condone the practice of not paying employees past wages…..thats wrong on any level!

    guess ill have to get my bagels at the scoops place now!

  48. palmcoaster says:

    I think is true they closed the Ormond location, because the Sub Base was said to buy the bagels from them and coincidentally now came up with totally different bagels than they used to sell. No more Asiago’s or Jalapeno Cheddar.

  49. blundie1 says:

    I’ve been on all sides of this puzzle- as an employee of a business that shut down, and as a business owner of a businesses that has shut down (and successful businesses that I still operate). As a business owner I’ve done it both ways.

    It is impossible to let employees know that they will be losing their jobs. Morale goes down the toilet, they badmouth the place and they don’t show up to work. I don’t blame the owners at all for not telling the employees. Plus, as someone previously mentioned- FL is a hire at will/fire at will state. There’s no difference in what they did vs. what happens when someone is laid off.

    My heart goes out to every party involved. It’s not easy for the employees, or the owners. I’m sure they did everything in their power to make it work and make it right. Good luck to all entrepreneurs- you make America great.

  50. felchenqiff says:

    There are some other reasons as well. I notice so many businesses have closed since I moved here.
    The town tends to be business unfriendly with all sorts of petty regulations. Also, there is an overwhelming “not welcome” vibe around town, and something just doesn’t feel right in Palm Coast, although I have met a few nice people, neighbors tend to find it strange when you introduce yourself upon moving into a neighborhood, or just being neighborly, which I was raised that it is just good manners. I am not bashing, I say this more out of confusion, because I have never had that problem anywhere else, and the few people I talk to say the same thing about things around here. There also tend to be a lot of people around town that seem to enjoy starting conflicts with people and then saying they did nothing wrong.

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