Lucky’s Market shutters doors after three years

After being in business for three years, Lucky’s Market is closing its doors. The southeast Iowa City grocery store chain offered bulk goods, organic produce, and fresh foods.


David Harmantas

Lucky’s Market in Iowa City on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Lucky’s recently announced that they are closing this location.

Kate Pixley, News Reporter

Iowa City’s Lucky’s Market plans to permanently shut its doors on March 4.

The grocery, 1668 Sycamore St., opened in 2015 after the departure of Von Maur, the mall’s former flagship store. Von Maur is now located in the Iowa River Landing area of Coralville.

The Iowa City Marketplace, formerly known as Sycamore Mall, is now home to a Joann Fabrics and Crafts store and the Marcus Sycamore Cinema.

Lucky’s was founded in 2003 by married duo Trish and Bo Sharon in Boulder, Colorado. The grocery chain specializes in bulk foods, organic produce, and vegetarian and vegan goods. The store also offered fresh-cooked food and beer on tap.

In a news release, Lucky’s announced that it would discount many products, including a 20 percent discount on alcohol. Lucky’s has operated on shortened hours as officials anticipated the closing.

Lucky’s shoppers will still be able to use rewards points and gift cards at other Lucky’s locations, although the Iowa City location is the only in the state.

Because Lucky’s employees now face the loss of their jobs, Lucky’s spokesperson Krista Torvik said in a press release that the company planned to assist former employees in their future job ventures. 

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“Lucky’s Market is committed to taking care of its employees and helping them with new job placement and transition plans,” Torvik said in the news release. “The company is bringing in professional help to provide outplacement services, and representatives from the company’s Employee Assistance Program will also be on-site to offer various resources to employees.”

Torvik also said the company would remain in contact with its local partners.

“Lucky’s Market is also deeply committed to its local community partners in Iowa City and is exploring potential continued support and partnership opportunities with current nonprofit partners,” Torvik said.

The company plans to expand, adding new locations across the country in the upcoming year.

Health-conscious southeast Iowa City residents are now left with fewer natural and organic-food options. Coralville boasts a Trader Joe’s, a Hy-Vee, and a New Pioneer Co-Op. Downtown Iowa City is home to Bread Garden Market, with another New Pioneer location reasonably close. Southeast Iowa City has a single Hy-Vee.

While Hy-Vee offers a natural-food section and organic goods, it is the only grocery store on the Southeast Side.

UI senior Nicole Gabrione, who follows a vegetarian diet, says she relies on nearby markets to follow her dietary regimen. 

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“I live really close to Bread Garden, and I find that that’s where I go,” she said. “I’ve found it easy [to follow a vegetarian diet], but I wonder if I’m eating the healthiest stuff.”

UI sophomore and vegetarian Amy Evans said she finds Iowa City to be an easy place to be a vegetarian, especially on and near campus.

“For groceries, I mostly go to Trader Joe’s,” Evans said. “A lot of restaurants have some vegetarian items; they seem like they make it a priority year after year.”