Purely Vacant


The storefront on Main Street in Brookline will remain desolate until a new buyer attempts to rekindle the once bright glow emanating from within. Pure Foods left Brookline in mid-March in order to make the move to Westford, Massachusetts. The Covid-19 pandemic was not easy on the small business, and neither was the small town it called home.

Cayden Plummer, Staff Writer

Even here in “Live free or Die” New Hampshire where businesses have been open for months, generating foot traffic has been a tough chore for many business owners. The Covid-19 pandemic has not been kind to small businesses. After one and a half years of service to the Brookline and Hollis communities, Pure Foods has been forced to move out of the small-town setting in search of a busier, less-saturated community in Westford, Massachusetts.

The decision to leave the Brookline store-front came from a combination of factors facing store-owner Andy Ozgur. The small business on Main Street had been seeing a decline in visitors, and Ozgur believes it is a result of the lack of support from local residents. With restrictions on occupancy and an overall public weariness due to the pandemic, the numbers did not see any positive change over the course of the last few months. “I also believe that New Hampshire, especially Southern New Hampshire, is not into healthy eating,” said Ozgur, who hopes that the short move to Westford, MA will bring in more revenue.

The closing of the Brookline location came as a surprise to the community, and it was not well publicized. “I did not hear about the closing of Pure Foods in Brookline,” said Spencer Murray ‘21. In a town with under 6,000 residents, local news such as the closing of a keystone business travels fast. The lack of knowledge of the current state of Pure Foods is precisely to what Ozgur attributes the necessity for the move to MA. “The biggest problem we had in Brookline was a lack of support from local people.” 

The idea to move locations was Ozgur’s, “We had customers from Massachusetts and we realized that people from [Massachusetts] are more interested in eating healthy,” he said. While it may be true that their new home in Westford will bring in more revenue, the departure from Brookline has turned heads and left locals disappointed. “It was a very convenient location for me. Right in the middle of town. And the stuff they offered was delicious,” said Murray ‘21.

Although the lack of support from locals was apparent to Ozgur, HB senior class representative, Annie Hazelton, sheds light on another side of the story. During this year’s spirit week, the senior class “adopted” Pure Foods in Brookline as their local business. The class was awarded points for every purchase by a senior at Pure Foods. The decision to support Pure Foods was cut and dry for the student council, “We were told by a student that they knew the owners of Pure Foods personally, and that they would be a great candidate since they were hit pretty hard because of Covid. We thought that this sounded like a great place to reach out to to offer our support, and to direct the community towards,” said Hazelton ‘21. 

Moving forward, Ozgur says that he is excited about the move to Westford and the positive changes he hopes to see. “Of course starting a new business is challenging but I am hoping to get more support from Westford as it is a busier location,” said Ozgur.