Cardero Grocery and European Warehouse among latest closures of longtime, family-run Vancouver businesses

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      A wave of longtime family-run business have been shutting down in the city over this past year, due to a variety of reasons ranging from owners retiring or facing health issues to new development.

      Here are a few more businesses that have closed or will be closing.

      Cardero Grocery

      Nestled within a residential district in the West End, Cardero Grocery operated for 75 years in a two-storey detached house at 1078 Cardero Street (between Comox and Pendrell streets), which was built in the 1920s.

      Owner Emma Ng told Global News that the new landlord decided not to renew the store's lease.

      The old-school convenience store closed on November 1.

      It was located only a few blocks away from the Safeway English Bay store at the 1600 block of Davie Street which closed on August 31 due to redevelopment, with plans to move into the new structure once it is completed in a few years.

      European Warehouse

      European Warehouse

      The family-run European Warehouse, or European Specialty's [sic] Importer Ltd., closed down today (December 19) at 220 Prior Street, after over 60 years in business.

      Karel van Renesse originally launched the company in Ontario in 1954 before moving to Vancouver in 1957, where it specialized in importing German and northern European food products, such as chocolates, condiments, canned fish, noodles, pickles, sauces, crackers, and more.

      In an interview with CBC News, Jasmine van Renesse (Karel's daughter) explained that although the company enjoyed peak years in the 1980s supplying stores in the former German-based Robsonstrasse area (now known as Robson Street), the business has since been in decline while expenses have increased.

      The company is referring customers to the Calgary-based Edelweiss Imports, which offers German, Dutch, Polish, and Scandinavian food items, for online shopping.

      Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware

      Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware, which sisters Karen and Jane Tennant have operated in the West End for 32 years, told the Westender (which itself is also ceasing production after publishing its last print edition on December 21 after 68 years in business) that she is facing a 93 percent property tax increase, thus making it difficult for the business to operate.

      The store's lease at 1553 Robson Street will end in January 2019.

      Other closures

      A few other longstanding businesses that have closed in Vancouver over the past few months have included:

      • Nick's Spaghetti House (631 Commercial Drive) will close on Thursday (December 21) after 62 years due to the owner's retirement
      • The Umbrella Shop (1106 West Broadway and 526 West Pender Street) will close at the end of this month after 82 years, due to the owner's unexpected health issues
      • due to redevelopment, Denman Fitness (1731 Comox Street) closed in November after 23 years, but the location has existed as a sports or exercise club for about 40 years 
      • outdoor and travel gear store 3 Vets (2200 Yukon Street), run by brothers Jerry and Keith Wolfman who are retiring, closed in November after 70 years
      • In April, Dover Arms Pub (961 Denman Street) and West Valley Market (1156 Bute Street) both closed down after over 40 years each in business
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook