It is with tremendous sadness that I must announce that Sunday, October 21st will be our last day of business in our Ottawa Street shop. This past weekend, we gave our notice to the building’s new landlord that we will vacate the premises at the end of the month.
Ironically, we have been gentrified out of our own business. Over the past four years, we worked very hard, overcoming countless challenges and investing tens of thousands of dollars into this building, always working towards owning it. The goal, since signing the lease, was to buy the building, run Gorilla Cheese on the main level, and live in the upstairs apartment as proud members of the Crown Point Community. To make a long story short, our investment into the building increased its value and the landlord used it to raise the price beyond our means. Despite coming to an agreement on a price and terms just in April, he announced that he wanted an additional $175,000 only three weeks later. We had to abandon our plan to purchase, and he quickly sold the building to our new landlord, an investment company who took possession in September. They quickly raised our rent payment by $250 per month, and would seek to raise it more with a new lease to start in the New Year. Needless to say, the writing is on the wall, and I don’t see things becoming any more fair for us moving forward in this location.
The big kicker is that we did not receive compensation for our numerous costly upgrades, which contributed greatly to the increased perceived value of the property. It’s my own fault; I believed in the landlord’s word and honour over the legal jargon of a contract, which I regarded naively as a mere formality. It was a grave error, and the lesson has been costly. While I will pursue compensation through legal means, it admittedly doesn’t look very good, as the contract appears to strongly favour the previous landlord.
Regardless, we’ll keep pressing on, taking a couple steps back to make another big step forward. We’re looking at a new location that we’re tremendously excited about. And we have a staff to look after, so our food truck will be out there making that great food out in the streets and at events. Stay tuned as we bring you news. In the meantime, we’re in our last couple of weeks on Ottawa Street, and we’d love for you to come down and say hi, say bye, and have a bite to eat. We’ll plan something grand for our final weekend. In the meantime, thanks for your support!