AUSTIN (KXAN) -- A company headquartered in Austin that specializes in healthy eating options announced on its website that they are shutting down all of their stores effective immediately. It is unknown how many employees are affected, and KXAN has contacted the company for more information.
My Fit Foods, which was founded in Houston in 2006, moved its base of operations to Austin in 2013. The headquarters was located near the Loop 360 bridge on Lake Austin. It had tripled the size of its former space in Houston.
The general manager of one location in Austin told KXAN he only learned Saturday night that the company was shutting down and locks would be changed at midnight. He says employees were encouraged to file for unemployment.
"I went to see if I can get any of my personal stuff but I haven't heard back from my manager on whether or not I can do that," said Victoria Neeranjan, who worked at My Fit Foods for about eight months and stood by its mission. "It's something that I truly believe in—healthy food that's available for people who don't cook or don't want to."
Monday, Neeranjan stood outside of the shuttered store grateful that she got out when she did. She put in her two weeks and said interestingly enough, "The day that it closed down was my last day."
She said she saw some of the writing on the wall within the last couple of weeks. "They closed down in Houston, and the one in Arizona and the one in California." Then, two days before the closure, she said management directed employees to stop adding money to any pre-paid accounts or opening any new ones.
Brad Emerson was one of many customers who had a prepaid account.
"I did $1,200 worth of food and they said we'll give you 20 percent off if you do that. I'm not exactly sure how much I still have on my tab in there, but I'm expecting that it's probably gone," Emerson said, telling KXAN he's heard nothing from the store about the rest of his balance.
He said it feels like management is running off with people's money. "Obviously it lets me know, given the way that they're handling it, something odd is going on," Emerson said.
The company's statement about the shutdown said, in part:
"Since 2006, My fit Foods has been on a mission to make healthy eating easy and accessible for everyone. We've enjoyed getting to know you, and we are proud that we have made a difference in many of your lives."
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of all our stores. We know that you have depended upon us to support your healthy habits, and we are deeply sorry for any inconvenience our closure may have caused you."
The company asked customers to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KXAN is looking into how many employees lost their jobs, what went wrong and how customers with pre-paid accounts can get their money back. So far, no bankruptcy filings have been posted. KXAN also put in calls to the owner, and have yet to hear back.
In April 2015, the founder of My fit Foods, Mario Mendias, was arrested at the W Hotel in Austin and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Police allegedly found a baggy of cocaine in his pocket.
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