April 23, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Kitchen supply store Whisk will be closing its Williamsburg location after the store’s rent was unexpectedly hiked by 44 percent.
Whisk’s owner Natasha Amott, who opened the store in 2008, announced the news in-store and on the company’s social media pages on Sunday that the store will close its doors for good on April 30.
According to Amott, the landlord of the 231 Bedford Ave. building wanted to increase the rent to $26,500—a significant jump from the $18,452 Whisk she had been paying.
“To accept that rent would mean increasing prices and depressing wages,” Amott wrote on Whisk’s Facebook page. “And that’s not the contribution I want to make.”
Amott put the blame for her predictament on real estate industry. With real estate prices soaring in the gentrified area, landlords are favoring higher-paying chain stores over smaller local businesses, she said.
“Private equity supported brands want in; food chains want in; heck, all the banks want in,” Amott wrote. “Big landlords are happy and finally so too are the small landlords who can now say ‘me too!’ on high rent demands.”
Amott thanked the store’s loyal customer base for making Whisk successful in Williamsburg for more than a decade.
“We love you for having passed through our doors so many times over all these years,” Amott wrote. “You chose to shop locally. You chose to support Whisk. I am grateful for all my staff now and those of the past. Together, staff and customer loyalty built Whisk. And we made it awesome.”
The store will be having a sale of 30 to 50 percent off nearly every item until it closes next week. In the note, Amott asked customers to continue to visit Whisk’s two other locations–one in the Flatiron District and the other in Downtown Brooklyn.