A couple of days ago, Angelo Ashker and Sarah Nasca of Ashker’s posted a note on one of their social media accounts stating that they were no longer going to run a juice/café operation out of their Main Street store (corner of Ferry – newly opened), and they were also seeking new tenants to replace their business on Elmwood (as their lease was not up). I decided to reach out to the couple, to ask them what was going through their minds regarding these seemingly abrupt decisions. Moments ago, the three of us sat down at their new bakery/café location on Amherst Street.
What Angelo told me surprised me. “We’ve had a great six years at the Elmwood location,” he said. “But it’s no longer a good fit for our business. Yes, business is still good, but we are looking at longterm plans for Ashker’s, and Elmwood doesn’t fit in with that plan/vision. We love the street, and the building, and we’re happy to search for the right business to take our place. We’re moving in a lot of different directions these days. We’re excited about Amherst Street, and we’re hoping to be at Delaware Park again next summer. We’re also in the midst of opening in the ACB building at 69 Delaware – the buildout was just completed, and we’re working on the final details now. The building’s main lobby has been renovated… the place looks great, complete with new murals. It’s a real metropolitan vibe. In that location, Ashker’s will be open from 7am to 5pm, serving breakfast and lunch, with smoothies and juices, all from the bar. We hope to open in early winter. The downtown location is one of our shifts of focus. At this stage of the business, we’re being led to new places, and it feels good.”
Ashker’s will certainly be missed on Elmwood. Angelo and Sarah have built an excellent business. In the meantime, until they find a replacement tenant, Angelo says that they intend to run the Elmwood business “better than ever”. They plan on going out with a bang, and even plan on hosting a ‘thank you’ party for their customers before they vacate the space.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Ashker’s space on Elmwood, feel free to contact Angelo at firstname.lastname@example.org. According to Angelo, while they have set their sights on other locations that “make more sense for us,” he still feels that Elmwood is, and always will be, a great street to do business on.
Along with Ashker’s’ pending closing, The Market on Elmwood (next door) has shuttered its doors, leaving opportunities wide open for a new tenant/s. Hopefully, whoever moves into that corner market spot will remove the stucco exterior walls – the building deserves something much better.
As for the Main Street Ashker’s location, Angelo felt much the same way as he did about Elmwood. It wasn’t the right fit anymore. He and Sarah needed to shift their focus. After thinking long and hard, they are now diverted their energies elsewhere. They have come to realize that there are other opportunities at hand, and in order to take advantage of those opportunities, they needed to disinvest elsewhere. While this may seem like a bummer for Ashker’s’ fans who were devoted to the Elmwood location, and who were excited about the new Main Street location, all that I can say is, Angelo and Sarah are a smart, crafty, determined couple who will continue to do great things in this city – just not in the places that they originally intended. Thankfully, they still have three locations, and they still make some of the best, healthy food/juices in town.
Photo from Ashker’s Elmwood