Bridle Trails Red Apple is set to close its doors in February. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Bridle Trails Red Apple is set to close its doors in February. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Bridle Trails Red Apple to close in February

After 20 years in operation, the Bridle Trails Red Apple in Kirkland will close its doors in February 2018.

And the community is sad to see the family-run grocery store go.

Owner Lori Croshaw recently posted a notice on the store’s front door to quash some of the rumors that were dispersing throughout the community. The notice stated the store would be closing next year due to a rent increase by the real estate company Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation, which owns the 105,590-square-foot strip mall Red Apple anchors.

Croshaw, who has heard from numerous customers, said “people are up in arms” about the decision to close.

More than 1,250 Eastside residents have signed a petition on www.ipetitions.com to oppose the rent increase.

“This market is a community treasure and is broadly supported by thousands of local residents,” the petition reads.

Croshaw said at the 20-year mark of the 30-year lease, ROIC had the option to increase the rent to fair market value.

When talks about the rent increase began last year in December 2016, Croshaw had made the case for cheaper rent because she was going to need to take out a loan for repairs of the aging equipment, such as refrigerators. As it was, Croshaw said, all the profits from the business were going toward restorations.

“Everything is getting old,” Croshaw said. “Any money we make is going toward fixing something.”

Croshaw did negotiate to keep the store open through the holidays, otherwise it would have had to close in November.

But the rent increase was not the only factor in closing the store, she said. It was just the latest detail in a series of events that has impacted the business.

Croshaw said it’s a “sign of the times.”

And it in part goes back to the psychology of shoppers’ buying habits.

Shoppers shop where they are, Croshaw said. If they’re in Fred Meyer or Bartell Drugs picking up a prescription, they’ll also buy their groceries there. Plus, with modern services like Amazon Go, people don’t even have to leave their homes for groceries.

“The competition is so incredible for grocery stores,” she said.

In addition, whenever there was a change in business in the strip mall — like when the gym closed or Bartell Drugs remodeled — business at Red Apple suffered, Croshaw said.

“We’ve been fighting to pay bills and make it here,” Croshaw said. “We’ve worked really hard to remain profitable.”

At some point, there had been discussion of building condos nearby, which Croshaw said is exactly what the little strip mall needs to survive, but nothing was ever realized.

“To keep this little shopping center alive we’ve got to have some people here,” she said. “We kept hoping someone would build.”

Croshaw spoke highly of her customers — “the best community in the world.”

“We are sad,” she said. “It’s a great community…We have that group of people who just love us and we love, love them, but we didn’t have enough of them.”

Helge Nason, of Kirkland, stopped by the store last week. She spoke of the store’s “amazing” customer service. She recalled a time when she needed orange zest and went in to ask for assistance. She said a store clerk zested an orange right there for her and gave her the orange for free, too.

“I tell you, the people are amazing,” Nason said.

Croshaw said she’s seen children from the bump on their mother’s belly mature into one of the store clerks.

“We feel like we’ve watched this community grow up,” she said.

Throughout the remainder of the year, the store is set to put on various customer appreciation events.

On Nov. 8, the annual holiday open house where customers can sample holiday foods and wines, is set for 4-7 p.m.

On Nov. 13, Seahawks Monday, customers can come and meet Seahawk Tyler Lockett and get his autograph.

On Dec. 2, Santa will be in the store for photos. (Bring your camera.)

After the store closes next year, Croshaw will likely go to work at the Bert’s Red Apple in Madison Park in Seattle, which is also owned by the Croshaw family.

Bridle Trails Red Apple is located at 6625 132nd Ave. N.E. in Kirkland’s Bridle Trails neighborhood, on the border of Redmond and the South Rose Hill neighborhood. The 27,390-square-foot building anchors the strip mall there, along with ACE Hardware and Bartell Drugs.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Kirkland resident Helge Nason reads the notice Bridle Trails Red Apple store owner Lori Croshaw posted about the store closure. Nason was sad to hear the store was closing its doors and spoke of the store’s “amazing” customer service. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

Kirkland resident Helge Nason reads the notice Bridle Trails Red Apple store owner Lori Croshaw posted about the store closure. Nason was sad to hear the store was closing its doors and spoke of the store’s “amazing” customer service. Megan Campbell/Kirkland Reporter

More in Business

Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Restaurant owners discuss labor difficulties with U.S Rep. Suzan DelBene

Experienced service and kitchen staff are reportedly hard to hire as food service reopens.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.

Cash Cards Unlimited partners, left: Nick Nugwynne, right: Cassius Marsh (photo credit: Cash Cards Unlimited)
Former Seahawks player Cassius Marsh cashes in on trading cards

Marsh and his friend open physical and online trading card store as collectibles boom amid pandemic.

Teaser
First large-scale, human composting facility in the world will open in Auburn

“It’s what nature meant us to do. We just do it faster.”

file photo
Cinemark opens theater at Totem Lake despite bad year for movie theater industry

Cinemark spokesperson said movie theaters still have unique value despite new focus on streaming.

Whole Foods grocery store entrance (Shutterstock)
King County considers grocery store worker hazard pay for those in unincorporated areas

The King County Metropolitan Council will vote during its next meeting on… Continue reading

Screenshot
WA Democrats consider new tax on billionaires

Plan could raise $5 billion from fewer than 100 taxpayers. Detractors fear it could drive Washington’s wealthiest out of state.

Last summer, people took advantage of the outdoor dining along First Avenue between Gowe and Titus streets in downtown Kent. In Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Photo courtesy of Kent Downtown Partnership
Restaurant reprieve: State to relax some indoor restrictions

On Monday, area restaurants and certain entertainment venues may resume indoor service, the governor said.

Stock photo
State Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

Targets relief to the most affected businesses; helps low-wage workers by raising their benefits

Jason Wilson is a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of The Lakehouse in Bellevue. Courtesy photo
James Beard Award winner wants to cook with you – virtually

Chef Jason Wilson can give customers an interactive dining experience in their own homes.