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East End News

East End Grocery Store Pledge

Neighbors, this is actually happening. From what John M. never thought it’d happen in his lifetime, to a strong and valued commitment to open this store in November of 2018. Hmm, lots of things happening in November huh? This is awe-inspiring, exciting, scary (a little) and hopefully a wonderful addition to the East End. Sign up for the next event this Thursday 1/25 and 6 PM here.

We’ll be running a series of articles based on the community conversations that the grocery team is having, but mainly we’d like you all think about being realistic (and grounded) about placing your hopes on this building will be. Remember, it needs to be accessible to a mixed income neighborhood. More on this later. In the meantime, check out the East End Grocery Store pledge to Church Hill and beyond:

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Freda Green-Bolling
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PTG
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I appreciate that they are naming, and pledging to, these things up front, and in writing. As has been discussed on many past chpn threads, starting a business in Church Hill with the intention of serving the full neighborhood, and finding a way to honor those with the lowest income/fewest resources, is incredibly challenging, but it is not impossible.

This pledge will be challenging, and they will need our support to help them carry it out. The result, I believe, will be a uniquely thriving neighborhood that could stand as a model to other neighborhoods.

Susan Haas
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Susan Haas

This is so exciting for Churchill! Thank you to all those who worked hard to make it happen!

Bill Hartsock
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Bill Hartsock

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Post Office element in the plans, also. Could they, at least, sell stamps and money orders at their service desk?

BAF
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BAF

I see a lot of laudable goals that will also drive up their overhead and expenses out of the gate. They have to be very careful. If their costs are out of whack (paying above market wages in the pursuit of being “sustainable” being one example), they will risk not being price competitive. If they can’t compete on price, the portion of the neighborhood that can quickly access the competition—those with cars and greater disposable income—will seek lower prices and those who don’t have that economic flexibility will be the sole customer, potentially limiting profitability. They need to have one… Read more »

Lynn S
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Lynn S

I suspect the Markels know exactly what they are getting into. From April 2017 Richmond Magazine: It’s not so much a money-making opportunity as a chance to help alleviate poverty in the region, according to the project’s financial backer, Steven A. Markel, the vice chairman of the Henrico-based specialty insurer Markel Corp. “This is a lot more about philanthropy for my wife [Kathie Markel] and me,” he says. “It’s a good place for community investment but not for making a lot of profit. I think dealing with Richmond’s poverty is something that’s important to do … [The project] is going… Read more »

MP
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MP

Goal #1: not smell! Seems like a lot of the grocery stores in the area have an odor to them, so gross. Like Chimbo market, family dollar, farm fresh (coming from fish area). So off-putting when you’re buying food.

I also really hope the new grocery store caters to everyone around it, not just the lower income people. There are tons of people just a few blocks south who would love to not have to drive to carytown to have a good produce section!

Jesse English
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a huge step forward hope the service standards are respectful of the community

Jen
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Jen

Just a hunch, but I’d wager that poor folks would like access to a broad and reasonably priced produce selection just as much as everyone else.

Liz
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Liz

@ Jen – hear hear!!!

MP
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MP

@8 and @9 I agree that everyone wants good produce – and yet pretty much ALL east end grocery stores (even the big ones like Kroger and the old Martins) have consistently worse produce than their west side versions. Farm Fresh is the worst. You buy some lettuce or grapes and have to eat them in one day before they get gross. It’s like the big companies send all their cruddy produce to the east side of town and reserve the nice stuff for the west. It’s why I shop on the west side of town when I can. Seems… Read more »

BAF
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BAF

@11

It could also be that for some reason produce moves slower in the East End and either stays on the shelves longer or is replenished less frequently. I doubt there is someone opening boxes of grapes at the warehouse and saying, “Send those crappy grapes to Laburnum!”

MP
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MP

@12 I hope that’s the case, though the picture you paint of the warehouse manager is funny. I must be paranoid, it’s just so many things that should be standard across the west/east sides of town aren’t (post offices for example – how come we don’t have the self-serve package kiosks?).

Anna Diaz
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About time!

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

@4 Gustavo S. With the current events, I can say that the government has the right to break any leasing contracts on the building without penalty. This may be easier than one thinks to switch locations? @13 MP Take into consideration that we had self-serve stamp machines years ago that was removed due to vandalism. No one wants to come out behind that bulletproof glass to confront someone destroying property and so… no equipment left out in the open. Sad and wish it wasn’t so but if there are to be changes made, either the way things are handled need… Read more »

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

Can someone provide a link to the new architectural plans for the complex? Or, will the plans that Scanlon paid for when it was to be Jim’s, still be used with the new project developer?

minimarket self
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Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues.
It was definitely informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
Thank you for sharing!

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