The Meat House has closed all but two of its New Hampshire stores, but the company claims the closures are only temporary.
In a notice posted on its website and on doors of its stores, co-founders Jason Parent and Justin Rosberg said, “We have made the decision to temporarily close our doors while we remodel our stores. We look forward to serving you and your community in the very near term.”
The Meat House’s Amherst and Dover stores remain open, while its locations in Bedford, Pembroke, Portsmouth and Stratham have closed.
Parent and Rosberg opened their first Meat House in Portsmouth in 2003.
The neighborhood butcher shop and specialty food store has expanded over the years and now has franchise opportunities.
The company did not respond to questions seeking comment on the closures. A marketing representative from the company asked that questions be e-mailed, but there was no response by press time.
It’s unclear whether the timing of the closures is related to a federal lawsuit filed by investors Jan. 22 in the U.S. District Court in Concord.
Massachusetts investors Edward R. Barry, William Kenney, Scott J. Nathan and Scott Tellier filed suit against Meat House Franchising and J & J Investments and Centrix Bank & Trust.
According to the suit, the four invested in and loaned $350,000 to The Meat House and its franchise business and operations under an agreement made on Nov. 16, 2010. They acquired non-voting memberships in exchange for their capital investment, the suit said.
“The agreement specifically allowed the investors to demand repayment of their respective investment plus 20 percent after the passage of the first anniversary date of the agreement. Despite repeated demands made to Rosberg and Parent as the controlling members of the company, repayment to the investors has not occurred as contractually agreed and remains outstanding. Rosberg and Parent, while acknowledging that monies are owed, have simply refused repayment,” the suit said.
The suit seeks damages plus interest, attorneys’ fees and other costs related to the alleged breach of their agreement.