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East End News

The Virginia Employment Commission posts date of closure on Farm Fresh

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Neighborhood Grocery Holdings LLC (NGH) buys Farm Fresh

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52 comments

Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 03/27/2018 at 1:29 PM

Has an opening date for the store on 25th been announced?

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Church Hill People
Church Hill People's News 03/27/2018 at 1:31 PM

Not a specific one yet, but they have been publicizing a potential December 2018 date.

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Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 03/27/2018 at 1:40 PM

Thank you

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Norine Holt-Houchens
Norine Holt-Houchens 03/27/2018 at 2:01 PM

This is so Sad we need a store !! Please let this store stay open.

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Liz 03/27/2018 at 1:56 PM

I hope a full-service grocery store goes here, knowing that it will be small. This area needs a good basic grocery store that will serve ALL of the Shockoe Bottom/Church Hill population just as the Farm Fresh did.

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Kirsten Gray
Kirsten Gray 03/27/2018 at 2:06 PM

We need a store in the neighborhood.

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Renate Duggan Morehouse
Renate Duggan Morehouse 03/27/2018 at 2:18 PM

Why are they closing? It seems like a great little store. It’ll admit the construction right there must hurt business a bit but over all it seems like there are people utilizing it.

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Brett Feinstein
Brett Feinstein 03/27/2018 at 3:39 PM

SuperValu doesn’t want to be in retail anymore anywhere. They are closing any store they can’t sell to another chain/owner.

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Resident 03/27/2018 at 2:26 PM

The new store at 25th and 9mile is going to be a fraction of the size of farm fresh. It is not a full grocery store.

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Resident 03/27/2018 at 2:57 PM

I hope CHIMBO OPENS UP there.
CHIMBO CHIMBO

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Grace 03/27/2018 at 3:56 PM

Are there ways for neighbors to express to potential buyers how much we want them here? Harris Teeter is fantastic!

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Sophia Fuddy Willis-Washington
Sophia Fuddy Willis-Washington 03/27/2018 at 4:09 PM

OMG! What about the older the people that need the store

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Luke E McClenny
Luke E McClenny 03/27/2018 at 4:24 PM

ALDI would be perfect!

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Shelly Wilkie
Shelly Wilkie 03/28/2018 at 12:02 PM

Trader Joes!

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Rita Austera 03/27/2018 at 4:48 PM

We use the Chimbo Market still. If you spend $60 you get a free ride home ? It’s not full size but the prices are competitive. I also take the bus to the new Walmart on Nine Mile Rd.The prices are really good. I usually take an Uber back home. It’s an adjustment living in the city but I’ve become more flexible and try to go with the flow.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 03/27/2018 at 4:49 PM

@7 Renate… why are they closing? The bottom line and owner, SuperValue. Farm Fresh has not made a profit since 1998 and SuperValue decided to get out of the retail business and stick to product distribution.

There has been an outcry for a Trader Joe’s there but someone at Nextdoor says that repeated contracts with them have come back saying that they are not interested in opening another store in RVA. The other Farm Fresh stores have been sold off to Kroger, Harris Teeter, and Food Lion. The location is too small for a Kroger and Food Lion has been closing stores as well. That leaves HT or some other independent unless TJ had a change of heart?

Personally, I would like to see an Aldi or Lidl go there.

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Taneya Dwan M Ed
Taneya Dwan M Ed 03/27/2018 at 5:22 PM

There is no grocery store in the area what are we going to di

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James Wesley Childress Jr.
James Wesley Childress Jr. 03/27/2018 at 5:47 PM

That is ample time to find another job.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 03/27/2018 at 5:55 PM

Chimbo has a nice store where it is and is only a couple of blocks away. If they moved to Church Hill, they would need to change their name and opening a second store that close would not be financially feasible. Farm Fresh, when they first opened, offered free shuttle service.

As I said, an Aldi would be welcome but the parking lot and sidewalk areas are not set up for the carts. Too bad that the adjoining parking deck was not utilized when Johnny Johnson built it for his customers and originally going to have a side entrance to a Ukrop’s like deli eatery area inside. Now it is owned by someone else and you can not park in it.

The problem is that the store is not large and the parking lot horribly laid out with spaces too small and too close together. It’s built for midget cars. If the building was larger, would LOVE a Publix there. Their stores are modern, clean, well laid out, stocked, and excel in customer service.

I hope whoever takes it over will maintain the Red Box Rental stations and the Amazon Lockers.

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James Menefee
James Menefee 03/27/2018 at 6:07 PM

Inside intel just said “95% sure this will be a Kroger”

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Church Hill People
Church Hill People's News 03/28/2018 at 12:09 PM

Per the SuperValue folks and shared by Norm Gold last night, it’s most likely an independent grocery store. Aldi, Lidl and Kroger allegedly passed

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John B Chilton 03/27/2018 at 7:26 PM

To the headline writer: Virginia Employment Commission not putting the store on notice. The store is closing and under federal law (WARN) the store has to give its workers and the public advance notice. Notifying VEC to post that notice is part the hoops the store must jump through under the law.

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Gustavo 03/27/2018 at 8:35 PM

Fixed!

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Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2018 at 6:58 AM

@20 James Menefee…wow, Kroger stores are much larger and need more parking than at this location. Seems out of character but, who knows at this point.

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HW 03/28/2018 at 9:01 AM

@23 well really @16 what is the basis for the no-profit statement? Does Supervalu release store level data?

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Eric S. Huffstutler
Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2018 at 10:33 AM

It seems out of character that Kroger would go into such a small building with a cramped parking lot?

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Darrell Talastas
Darrell Talastas 03/28/2018 at 12:16 PM

Need a super Aldi

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Erik Grotz
Erik Grotz 03/28/2018 at 1:45 PM

Whoever purchases it needs to purchase the two-story parking lot next to it.

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ray 03/28/2018 at 1:57 PM

Independent grocery store? The only ones I know in Richmond are Ellwood Thompson in Carytown and something (name escapes me) on Libbie Ave., both which would probably go over pretty well with a lot of people in this end of town.

Anyone know any others?

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Eric S. Huffstutler
Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2018 at 3:38 PM

My question then would be, what “independent” has enough money to buy the 37,000 sq ft store and renovate it?

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Casey Clifford
Casey Clifford 03/28/2018 at 4:31 PM

Let’s all chip in and buy it!

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Eric S. Huffstutler
Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2018 at 4:44 PM

If Kroger is out, that means so is Harris Teeter. I believe Whole Foods is a chain, not an independent. How about Tom Leonard’s?

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MP 03/28/2018 at 4:57 PM

Ellwood Thompson or Libbie Market would be great

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Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2018 at 5:09 PM

@30 ray, like you, unless you go out of the way looking up these stores, you forget about them. The only other than Ellwood Thompson that I recalled is Tom Leonard’s.

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Joe 03/29/2018 at 12:11 AM

Tom Leonard’s is not an independent. Tom Leonard is owned by Stew Leonards. It is a chain out of the north east with several locations. When the son of the owner of Stew’s brought a location down to Virginia he used his name, but is still part of a mass chain from the Northeast. The location is too small.

Trader Joe’s does not have a successful presence in Virginia and will not go in there.

Whole Foods will not be going in there for two reasons one the location is too small and two they already bought the old Pleasants hardware spot and are currently under construction there for a new location.

Kroger, food Lion and Publix of all turned it down to two building being too small and parking nightmare.

If you actually going to the grocery store and talk to an employee you’ll be told by the employee that they are not being sold, they are all being let go and no one is interested at all in this spot.

Parking deck will never be sold, it is too valuable as a rental and would be a stupid decision to sell.

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dontmincewords 03/29/2018 at 7:23 AM

Ellwood passed on 2018 E. Broad (dukes) due to parking. Given they were even considering that small space, THIS could be a possibilities since it does have parking….

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Matt Hillian 03/30/2018 at 8:21 PM

Is there anyone out there who can put a business plan together for a community co-op?

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Eric S. Huffstutler 03/30/2018 at 9:04 PM

@36 Joe

You did not say anything about Ellwood Thompson?

The thing is, that parking deck was originally built for the grocery store (just look at the architectural design that matches the store) but never fully utilized before sold off. That leaves that horrible fiasco of a parking lot. The building is too small for “chain” stores.

But this is a bit confusing. Over at Nextdoor, they are saying that the store manager is passing the word that the store was sold and eludes to another distribution type company but not at liberty to say who?

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Eric S. Huffstutler 03/30/2018 at 10:51 PM

@38 Matt Hillian…

The co-op idea has floated around for years. Here is one post link on CHPN from 2010.

https://chpn.net/2010/06/04/interested-in-a-food-co-op/

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crd 03/31/2018 at 4:28 PM

Just heard that it has been sold and the employees will keep their jobs. Not sure who the buyer is, supposedly an independent grocer.

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Kay 03/31/2018 at 4:56 PM

Folks…Supervalu/Farm Fresh doesn’t own the building- they lease it from Wilton- it’s not for sale.

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Carolyn McSorley
Carolyn McSorley 03/31/2018 at 6:50 PM

Harris Teeter please!

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Eva Tiner
Eva Tiner 03/31/2018 at 11:11 PM

OMG COMMUNITY PRIDE PLLEEEASE ???? LET IT BE A COMMUNITY PRIDE

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ray 04/01/2018 at 6:47 AM

An unpeachable source tells me it’s a Ukrop.

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Kay 04/01/2018 at 7:01 AM

@43- Harris Teeter is owned by Kroger- that’s not going to happen.

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Liz 04/01/2018 at 8:35 AM

Ukrops??? Oh please for the love of all that is holy, let that be true!

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ray 04/01/2018 at 10:08 AM

Tasteless April Fools/Easter joke, Liz.

Ukrops won’t be having a resurrection.

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Liz 04/01/2018 at 12:05 PM

Boo hiss Ray 🙂

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ray 04/19/2018 at 8:13 AM

Store manager tells CHA meeting that the store will REMAIN OPEN with a new owner! Reported it will not be a national chain like Kroger but that will be a familiar Richmond name.

Tom Leonards? Ellwood Thompson? Libbie Market?

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SarahontheHill 04/19/2018 at 8:19 AM

Has there been any other news about the sale? I was in there on Sunday and my cashier confirmed it had been sold but not to who. She also said that they would lose their jobs and would have to reapply for the new owner.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 05/11/2018 at 4:13 PM

Today, there was news that the store’s closing has been delayed.

Channel 12 online story says that they are NOT closing this coming Monday as planned but have extended the employees positions until further notice when they have a definite buyer in place.

This is still a mixed bag of confusion. The store manager says they will not “close”. SuperValu implies that they are still looking for a buyer. One rumor is that the former CEO of Farm Fresh bought it. Then, there was that one day “Cub” register receipt tease. Why is there not more transparency from SuperValu about this potential transition? And causing even more mental anguish to the employees about their future since it mentions “severance pay” and retraining opportunities. I thought that the current employees were staying and now, they aren’t?

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