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East End News

Farm Fresh selling its stores including one in Shockoe

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Farm Fresh grocery chain, founded 61 years ago in Norfolk, is fading away.

Grocery wholesale distributor Supervalu Inc., which has owned Farm Fresh since 1999, said Wednesday it no longer plans to own the chain that once dominated Hampton Roads.

Supervalu said it had entered into three separate definitive agreements to sell 21 of its 38 Farm Fresh stores for about $43 million in cash to three different retailers: Kroger’s Harris Teeter brand, Kroger brand and Food Lion.

The company said it is continuing discussions and exploring potential transactions to sell the remaining 17 Farm Fresh stores, including one on East Main Street in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom neighborhood, to current and prospective wholesale customers and certain Farm Fresh employees.

“Exiting the Farm Fresh banner will enable us to allocate greater resources and energy toward the strategic growth of our wholesale business,” Mark Gross, Supervalu’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “This decision was not taken lightly, given the impact on our employees and the communities we serve, but we strongly believe this decision is in the best long-term financial and strategic interest of our business.”

In addition, it looks like 60 day notices were given today:

Farm Fresh gave employees at the Richmond store layoff notification letters and a minimum 60-day notice as required by law, he said.

A couple of employees said Thursday they weren’t sure what would happen to the store or to their jobs. “Our manager thinks the store will be sold but who knows what will happen to our jobs if that happens,” said one female employee, who asked that her name not be used.

Farm Fresh has operated the 37,000-square-foot store since July 2004.

The chain returned to the Richmond market then by taking control of the supermarket’s operations at the request of parent company Supervalu.

Looks like more opportunity for the upcoming East End Grocery Store:

East End Grocery Store

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77 comments

Victoria Lynn Davis
Victoria Lynn Davis 03/15/2018 at 2:10 PM

As long as I can still find Daiya Caesar dressing….without ordering online, we’re good.

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Stephanie Espinosa
Stephanie Espinosa 03/15/2018 at 3:37 PM

Lol ellwoods and sometimes kroger has it

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Jared 03/15/2018 at 2:15 PM

It would be nice to get something that isn’t already in the area. With the recent addition of Publix and Lidl on Laburnum, and the Walmart on Nine Mile, where there was already Kroger and Food Lion relatively nearby, plus the incoming East End store. Harris Teeter would be fantastic. Maybe too much dreaming for a Trader Joe’s that’s not in Short Pump?

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Terrapin Marquis
Terrapin Marquis 03/15/2018 at 2:16 PM

the kitchen is pretty good.

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BAF 03/15/2018 at 2:17 PM

May be tough to find a national chain buyer given that store has a small footprint relative to what most national chains prefer. Food Lion might look it at—but let’s hope someone better comes along than them and their deal that sold off the Martin’s stores may prohibit them from adding more units in the market. Might be a good place for an Elwood’s expansion or if the Libbie Market guys want to try something larger.

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Angela Gay Davis
Angela Gay Davis 03/15/2018 at 2:19 PM

As long as it’s replaced with another grocery store

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Anne Tomsky
Anne Tomsky 03/15/2018 at 2:22 PM

omg I’m literally so happy

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Debra Miller
Debra Miller 03/15/2018 at 2:33 PM

Good Riddance! A locally owned grocery instead of a big chain would be great but probably never happen.

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Juliellen Sarver
Juliellen Sarver 03/15/2018 at 2:36 PM

Too bad. It’s an important community resource. It will be missed; the next closest store is Food Lion on Williamsburg Rd and Charles City Road, which is a hike and not served by transit.

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Michael Brap
Michael Brap 03/15/2018 at 2:48 PM

Gonna miss the salad bar

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Kay S Glenn
Kay S Glenn 03/15/2018 at 2:50 PM

I love this store and it’s employees. I feel for them

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Iesha Leonard
Iesha Leonard 03/15/2018 at 2:53 PM

I always got the worst service…

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Anne Robinett
Anne Robinett 03/15/2018 at 3:06 PM

Going to miss their fried chicken, it made a great Sunday lunch!

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Lindsay Beach Whitmore
Lindsay Beach Whitmore 03/15/2018 at 3:17 PM

The last time I was in there, everyone was incredibly friendly (which wasn’t normal) Every corner I turned, someone asked me how my day was. I felt like i was on a commercial or something. I will miss their salad bar too. Best in richmond as far as grocery stores go.

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Ayana Obika
Ayana Obika 03/18/2018 at 11:05 AM

I did too. Next, to Ukrop’s, it is the friendliest market in the city. When I lived in Church Hill the number one reason that I shopped there was because the employees made me feel like they were truly glad to see me. If I requested a product, within a few weeks, it was on the shelf. Sad to see it go.

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Carmen Emborski Pekarek
Carmen Emborski Pekarek 03/15/2018 at 3:44 PM

Please be a LiDL… or ALDI…

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Kirsten Gray
Kirsten Gray 03/15/2018 at 4:15 PM

I just got back from Lidl. Great place but we have one near by at Williamsburg Rd and Laburnum. I don’t know if they open stores near each other. But we do need a grocery store of some kind in the church hill area.

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Fellipe Matias
Fellipe Matias 03/15/2018 at 3:54 PM

Ima miss the employees there. They’re always super friendly

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Rita Sharon
Rita Sharon 03/15/2018 at 3:54 PM

hopefully they stay on.

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Kirsten Gray
Kirsten Gray 03/15/2018 at 4:11 PM

Oh no! We need a grocery store in the neighborhood!

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Melissa Ansley Brooks
Melissa Ansley Brooks 03/15/2018 at 4:18 PM

There’s still a grocery store coming to 25 th and 9 Mile! ? East End Grocery Store

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Alexandra Hicks
Alexandra Hicks 03/15/2018 at 4:43 PM

Can we get a Trader Joe’s over here?!?

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Breau Brothas
Breau Brothas 03/15/2018 at 4:45 PM

Not my fish dinner!

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Fark Mitzhugh
Fark Mitzhugh 03/15/2018 at 5:45 PM

Maybe they will get a store that has good deals

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Colleen Boland
Colleen Boland 03/15/2018 at 4:47 PM

oh noooooo

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Neill Jameson
Neill Jameson 03/15/2018 at 4:48 PM

Whoever moves in it’s assured the parking lot will still be a mad max free for all

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Diana Palese
Diana Palese 03/15/2018 at 5:12 PM

I hope their replacement is better priced !! Farm fresh is way expensive for not being very good !

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BAF 03/15/2018 at 5:23 PM

And now it appears they are going to close the store if they don’t find a buyer. Layoff notices went out today.

http://www.richmond.com/business/local/farm-fresh-gives-layoff-notices-to-richmond-employees-chain-seeks/article_686fd637-e245-5c47-8366-9b41ab3156d9.html

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Jasmin Bee
Jasmin Bee 03/15/2018 at 5:32 PM

They have some of the best fried chicken

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Michael T. 03/15/2018 at 5:41 PM

Prices were always high compared to Kroger and Trader Joes. We only went for beer and ice.
But it serviced alot of the East End families as well as providing employment opportunities.
But my fingers are crossed for Trader Joes!!

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Ann Balaban
Ann Balaban 03/15/2018 at 6:08 PM

Why!!

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Tonya General
Tonya General 03/15/2018 at 6:17 PM

Starbucks!!!

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Amy Weber
Amy Weber 03/15/2018 at 6:23 PM

East End Grocery Store is coming to the neighborhood!!! It’s under construction right now!! Please support this local grocer!!

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Liz 03/15/2018 at 6:29 PM

I am sad to see this happen. For those with no transportation, our area is a food desert. In addition, I have seen the quality of this store improve over the past several years and it’s great to be able to “run down the Hill” to pick up essentials and some treats at times. I hope a quality affordable grocery store moves in so that we ALL can benefit.

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Liz 03/15/2018 at 6:29 PM

But yes, please fix the parking lot!! I do not own a Matchbox car! 🙂

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crd 03/15/2018 at 6:36 PM

I think it’s the footprint size of the Aldi at Blvd and Broad Sts. Hope they look at it. The other stores all have much bigger footprints and I don’t see Kroger or Food Lion going there. Agree with Julie Ellen and Kirsten Gray, we need a store. Anyone here with the time and inclination, there used to be a way to go on the Aldi website and suggest a store location, i did it a year or more ago and suggested Fulton but nothing happened. You have to give them an exact address as I recall, so make sure you have that.

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crd 03/15/2018 at 6:37 PM

Also someone just told me that it’s owned by Supervalu, which is a wholesaler, and their shareholders are telling them to get out of the retail business. Supervalu is a wholesale distributor, and they aren’t very good at retail.

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Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones 03/15/2018 at 7:17 PM

Maybs pubs???

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Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones 03/15/2018 at 7:18 PM

But then my parking spot will be long gone

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Chris Custer
Chris Custer 03/15/2018 at 7:49 PM

Oh man. Unlimited pub subs would be amazing. Someone else commented they want a Trader Joe’s. Wouldn’t hate that either. Probably not big enough for a Weg tho

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Chris Custer
Chris Custer 03/15/2018 at 7:49 PM

As long as it’s not Kroger

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Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones 03/15/2018 at 8:26 PM

Plot twist: it’s a New Grand Mart & I will never ever move.

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Kay Christensen 03/15/2018 at 7:17 PM

I suspect this location will simply go dark…. it’s too small for any of the national names mentioned to make a go of it. Doesn’t fit an Aldi or Lidl model…

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Your Neighbor 03/15/2018 at 7:36 PM

At #6. I’m glad you’re so happy at all those people losing their jobs.

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Brittany Dugas
Brittany Dugas 03/15/2018 at 8:01 PM

Can we get a Trader Joe’s for the love of everything good in this world!?!?!!!

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Chris 03/15/2018 at 8:45 PM

Don’t forget the Chimbo Market folks.

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Iesha Adu-Darko
Iesha Adu-Darko 03/15/2018 at 8:58 PM

Thank the lord! They sucked anyways

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Lerence Lubigan
Lerence Lubigan 03/16/2018 at 11:01 AM

Too expensive!

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David Maughan
David Maughan 03/15/2018 at 10:45 PM

Let’s get a Trader Joes!

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Tricia Dunlap
Tricia Dunlap 03/16/2018 at 3:46 AM Reply
JG 03/16/2018 at 8:55 AM

Really going to miss being able to walk a few blocks to do our grocery shopping. Extremely nice employees as well.

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bp guy 03/16/2018 at 9:28 AM

@6, 7, & 46…seriously? If you don’t like the store then take your business elsewhere. For the people that depend on that store (like my mom who lacks a car) and the people that are employed there, they aren’t yelling good riddance, or yay! It shows some self-absorption on your parts.

It wasn’t my primary go-to, but it was convenient for when I needed something on the way home, and was a decent, and improving market. I also wonder if any of the three of you ever complain about food deserts.

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The U.....nion Hill 03/16/2018 at 9:32 AM

For all of its faults, The Fresh Market was a valuable and convenient resource for gathering essential grocery items. The small markets dotted around the Hill are nice, but way to expensive for practical purposes. This a huge loss for the neighborhood and let us hope someone/anyone will fill the void. Especially since this location is far from being attractive for the major chains. Also, my heart goes out for all the people who are losing their jobs.

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Resident 03/16/2018 at 11:01 AM

CHIMBO MARKET!!!!

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Chris 03/16/2018 at 11:07 AM

Won’t miss the parking.

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Cheryl Belcher
Cheryl Belcher 03/16/2018 at 12:30 PM

I like the store, hate the parking lot.

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Kay Christensen 03/16/2018 at 1:22 PM

Love it or not…this market’s closing will be a net loss for the neighborhood and the folks who are employed there. We already know that Kroger and Food Lion will not be back-filling this space as they bought many other Farm Fresh locations and opted out on this spot.

The space will likely be filled with a food operator of some sort but I suspect will not be what these comments are craving… a wholesaler or reseller of dated products could make it work. The size if the space and frontage traffic flow is a real drawback for the national guys except **possibly** Walmart’s Neighborhood Market or a dollar store concept.

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John W. 03/16/2018 at 3:08 PM

I talked to a cashier this afternoon – was told a buyer had been secured and it would be announced on May 15th.

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Gustavo 03/16/2018 at 3:22 PM

@john that’s good news!

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ray 03/16/2018 at 4:45 PM

If a buyer has really been secured, it’s going to be public well before May 15th. Guess what I’m really saying it that, while hopeful that it’s true, I’m skeptical about the news in #57.

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Amanda Berkley Seibert
Amanda Berkley Seibert 03/16/2018 at 7:13 PM

I for one won’t miss the guy selling drugs out of the seafood section or the terrible customer service. ? hopefully a better business can fill its spot!

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Kim Morden Oliver
Kim Morden Oliver 03/16/2018 at 7:25 PM

We need to Keep a grocery store here!!

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Michael P 03/16/2018 at 8:24 PM

I really liked this store and the people that worked there. Always treated well. Hated the parking lot though. Prices were a little high maybe but I still wanted to support the neighborhood as we should.
Good riddance ? Rude
Litterly so happy ? Rude
They sucked anyway ? Rude
New buyer secured ? Hopeful for workers employed there.

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tony 03/17/2018 at 5:52 AM

Certain folks always gotta hate no matter if its on Community Pride or Farm Fresh. Having a grocery store here is vital to the area. Glad Johnny J. and Ukrops folks tried, same for supervalu and Farm Fresh, Not everyone has a car to get to other options. love for the Chimbo Mart but you best check those exp dates on products.

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Katherine Jester
Katherine Jester 03/17/2018 at 7:26 AM

A cashier told me that she got her notice by seeing it on the news. That stinks. It alao would be nice if they could say “thanks for your business” to the people of this community that have supported them for the last 15 years.

I’m sorry to see it go. Yes the parking lot sucks and the meat leaves a lot to be desired but it’s still my go-to quick stop when we’re out of cat food or I need something for a recipe. Whatever replaces it, I hope it opens soon and I hope the employees get preferential hiring because at the end of the day, people are losing their jobs. Let’s not loose sight of that.

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Max Amillion
Max Amillion 03/17/2018 at 7:49 AM

3300 Farm Fresh employees are losing their jobs , 3300 ! This also effects tons of trickle down business .This is catastrophic . One good thing is FF is actively trying to sell each store to a competitor . But my area here is over saturated already with new competition .

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Katherine Jester
Katherine Jester 03/17/2018 at 7:57 AM

I think Aldi, probably a good call! We’ll see!

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Max Amillion
Max Amillion 03/17/2018 at 8:09 AM

Sounds good , but I think an Aldi store runs on 1/8 of the employees that a FF does

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Charlene Camroux
Charlene Camroux 03/17/2018 at 9:38 AM

Max Amillion your store is going to be a kroger . They are all Kroger’s or HT. So lots of jobs for the ones that want it and can do it! The one store in richmond is the only one not on the list … I vote for a Earth Fare!

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Running Dog 03/17/2018 at 8:02 AM

Going to miss this store, loved it and supported it since it’s opening. It is the best we have and don’t understand all the negative. Wishing the employee’s the best.

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crd 03/17/2018 at 10:07 AM

@57 and @59, I went yesterday too, and the woman who checked me out said, in response to my telling her that I was sorry, that “oh yea they already found a buyer.” I asked the manager type at self-check and he said no they have not found a buyer, and that the cashier was claiming to know things that even management didn’t know. Maybe she thought she was being positive in spreading an untruth…

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Melissa Dawn Minter
Melissa Dawn Minter 03/17/2018 at 11:11 AM

Wouldn’t Trader Joe’s be great? If you agree…

It may be a long shot but, please use this link to request a Trader Joe’s: https://www.traderjoes.com/contact-us/location-request

And in the comments maybe write something like:

“Hello. Farm Fresh is closing at 2320 east Main Street , Richmond, VA 23223. Please consider this area for a location. If you run the demographics they might not be as desireable but there are a LOT of people in the condos on the James, Rockets Landing, Church Hill and other downtown areas that would gladly shop at that location. Not only that it would be our primary grocery store. Do the research, we are here. We need you.“

Share people share! It only takes two minutes.

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BAF 03/17/2018 at 4:04 PM

I hate to throw cold water on things, and of course anything is possible, but I sincerely doubt Trader Joe’s will consider it. They put one store in the Richmond market a number of years ago and never added a second, which would lead me to believe they don’t see this as a strong market for expansion. Aldi might make sense there, but that means all the prepared foods and Starbucks go away. The Fresh Market might want another unit in Richmond but it may not make sense demographically there. That’s a small footprint for a modern grocer though. I’m betting that’s going to be a dollar store or a downmarket no-frills grocer. I see more runs to Carytown or Publix at White Oak until Whole Foods opens should that be the case.

BTW, I thought the store was fine for what it was. The prices were OK. Service was OK. Fried chicken and muffins were awesome.

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Zachary 03/17/2018 at 9:36 PM

What is actually wrong with you people who are happy that this store is closing? I cannot even comprehend it. If you don’t like the store, just simply don’t go there.

People are most likely losing their jobs. People like me who are students at MCV and don’t have a car suddenly don’t have a simple way to get groceries.

The employees there were actually nice, much better than any Wal-Mart, Kroger, or Food Lion. The store was a little expensive, but it was a very fine grocery store. It had all the food most people would need.

Those of you who are happy about this, I don’t know what kind of people who are, but I hope I never have to deal with you.

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BAF 03/18/2018 at 11:10 AM

@73 Zach:

Personally, I generally had positive experiences with that store and it’s employees. But over years of reading CHPN, I also know enough readers loathed the place and posted about problems with the store that there had to have been some real and ongoing issues there. Those people probably had difficulty seeing a store profit while the need for a good grocer in the area is well-established and while they felt ill-served by the current store with few nearby alternatives. That they are drinking a cup of schadenfreude at Farm Fresh’s is understandable given their negative experiences there and their (assumed) hope for a better replacement. Where I think their error lies is that I suspect the replacement may be worse given the building’s footprint and who would take such a space.

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Justina Inez Lewis
Justina Inez Lewis 03/18/2018 at 7:54 PM

most will be Harris Teeters, Food Lions, or Krogers—-the Gloucester Hayes Farm Fresh will be a Kroger

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