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Food Opinions

Opinion: It’s Time We Talk About The Market

On the heels of an historic election in Virginia, it finally feels like the right time to have a hard conversation. 

The Blue Wave that swept Virginia’s House of Delegates and State Senate did so mainly riding the back of a progressive agenda. One that highlights the importance of a fair wage, equal access to health care, and pushing back against barriers of inequity that have haunted the Commonwealth for too long. 

This agenda is nothing new to the People of The Hill. When I committed to moving my family back into the city of Richmond from the homogeneity of the suburbs, no neighborhood embodied the ideals of diversity, inclusion, community, history and innovation better than Church Hill. 

I was blessed to be introduced to the work of The Robinson Theater, CHAT, Peter Paul and Blue Sky, all committed to bettering the lives and experiences of ALL the children of Church Hill. Before we moved I sat around bars, and coffee tables and front porches of friends that already lived in the area. I heard the conversations in community groups and newsletters, everyone focused on how to make this neighborhood, the shining beacon on the hill.

How Church Hill could be the place that would show Richmond how the past and future could meet, and blend, not break. 

I am proud to call Church Hill home, proud of the work happening to engage and enhance the East End. But, there is a much needed conversation we have all been shying away from. An opportunity to show Richmond, and the country at large, that what we do here works. That a community that values everyone’s contributions, then pools those resources and rises to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens, is not only possible, but profitable. 

Let’s talk about The Market @ 25th.  

The Market opened in March of this year to much fanfare. Hailed as a new opportunity for economic activism, and a much needed oasis in the food desert of the East End, I saw you all there the first few weeks. Taking pictures of the history wall, posting to your Instagram or Facebook from the Shalom Produce aisle, or Brewer’s Coffee cafe. We were all excited to be a part of something that was more than just a grocery store. 

But as the shine dimmed, and the reality of old habits set in, we have begun to revert to our old ways. Crossing over into Henrico to shop at Kroger or Walmart; Traveling to the West End or Carytown after work to visit Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods; convenience finds its way back into our daily lives and we are failing to hold up our end of the bargain. 

Richmond Free Press ran a piece recently waging bets against The Market.

It spoke of layoffs and profit margins, and misquoting the store’s operator, began signaling the failure of the experiment here in the East End. The Richmond Times Dispatch recently reported that the store is “losing millions”.

Let’s start with putting to bed the biggest of the misconceptions:

“The store is not going to close.  The investor, Steve Markel, is completely dedicated to the sustainability of our store and to the community.”

Norm Gold, Developer and Operator of The Market @ 25th

Norm and I spoke candidly about the situation at the market, and even with his promise that the store isn’t going anywhere, they still need our help. 

 “I will say, that for the store to flourish and continue to be a vital part of the community, it needs more support from the community.” 


What does that support look like? It is time to put your money where your mouth is. 

Richmonders overwhelmingly elected a democratic House of Legislators that promises a raise in minimum wage. The Market doesn’t need a law passed to make them pay people a living wage. According to Norm, “We start all staff, other than baggers, at $12 an hour. Salaries go up from there, depending on experience. We are very competitive with all other grocery retailers, and higher than many.  Our goal was to offer a living wage to our team members to help them become self-sufficient, and we have been very successful here. Most of our team have now been able to stabilize their families and in many cases, procure homes, cars, and other essentials.” 

Let’s compare that to other options around the area that may be getting your monthly grocery budget.

Per Indeed, Average Kroger Stores hourly pay ranges from approximately $8.52 per hour for Cashier/Bagger. While we might enjoy the convenience of ordering shelf stable items straight to our door, Amazon disclosed  that the median pay for its employees was just $28,446 in 2017. That number has risen some since their announcement of a $15 an hour rate for all employees, bumping the median salary up to $35,000 a year, but, that still doesn’t translate to much of a work life balance for many of their workers. One spoke to the New York Times in 2018 and reported having to pee in bottles on shift to avoid losing productivity time on a bathroom break. Whole Foods, now an Amazon company, doesn’t fare much better with an average starting salary of $10 per hour, again per Indeed.

Glassdoor, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Labor, Cornerstone Capital Group

While we are talking about Whole Foods, it should be important to note that CNBC reports, as of January 2020 almost two thousand workers will lose their health care. 

Virginians statewide rallied for an expansion of Medicaid, the votes prove that. I’ve driven the neighborhood and seen Warren and Bernie signs going up, both candidates who are pushing for Medicare for all. Yet we are still supporting corporations that forgo their employees’ health for the bottom line.

Walmart has made several big announcements regarding their new health care programs for workers over the last few months. Sadly, those changes will not affect over half of their workforce that is part time. A study from UC Berkeley shows that $153 Billion a year is spent to subsidize minimum wage employees at places like Walmart through SNAP and Medicaid benefits. 

The Market offers all employees access to Health Care.

Norm stated, “All full timers are offered health insurance (medical, dental, vision, short term and long term disability, and life insurance).  Part timers are also given the opportunity to sign up for health insurance.” 

Norm adds, they are also looking to their employees future. “All workers are offered 401k and there is a company match.” 

The investment isn’t solely monetary.

At CHPN we have covered the unique opportunities that The Market is offering employees. Norm spoke a bit about how things began with their team.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to hire local. To affording them opportunities that other employers do not, including those with criminal backgrounds.   Partnering with Caritas, we provided them life skills/ professional development training before they started in the store. Each team member was paid for this training. We wanted to give them all the skills needed to become successful and self-sufficient whether it is at our store, or beyond if they decide to move to another career. Typical grocery retailers, and most other employers, don’t invest as much in their employees.  We are committed to helping them improve their lives. This dedication has created a very strong team atmosphere. The best culture, best customer service of any grocer in Richmond. (And, yes, I am confident in that statement and have been told so by many experts)” 

Church Hill is a progressive community. We value workers’ rights, a fair wage, health care; and we are failing to support a store right here that is living those values. 

It is time for us to step up. 

I asked Norm what needs to change for The Market to be successful: 

 ” A store’s success is predicated by volume and most importantly, customer count. Our customer count is low and has not increased.  The community has clamored for a grocery store in this area for decades. Now that it is here, they really need to turn out, change their shopping habits and shop in our store.  They need to understand that this means understanding that we are not a WalMart and cannot compete with their prices. But can be, and are very comparable.”

The convenience of our store, the services we offer, the dedication to staff, vendors, and community should be, must be enough to gain the support of all those in our community. No matter diversity, income, or age.   We need that support to continue the level of services we currently offer.  The Market doesn’t want to become just another grocery store. We want to continue to be a true community, local, mission based and driven market, and our success will be vital to the East End.”

Norm and the Market are open to suggestions. Found something cheaper somewhere else? Tell them. Are they not carrying your favorite brand of cereal? There are forms to fill out to request items to be stocked.  

The Market has recently launched their Members Rewards program and also are offering discounts to seniors, military, students/teachers and more. 

They are doing their part to try to make this store work for our community. Are you doing yours? 

People of the Hill, Where are you spending your money?  And more importantly, who are you supporting with those dollars? 

By

Megan Rickman-Blackwood


Note from the Editors: This is a part of a series of articles about The Market at 25th and how our involvement with it affects the store and the community. What’s the other side of the coin? Is this more than returning to old habits? Could the reason you’re not shopping there be that the store trying to be too many things to too many people? Is there an environmental factor? Where is the delivery option for those who use Instacart? Is there a perception problem like this article from Bacon’s Rebellion alludes to?

Let’s start having the hard conversations. Comment your thoughts.

How can The Market at 25th  follow up with the community to figure out what works and what doesn’t?

Related posts

What is Happening at 401 N 27th St?

Church Hill People's News

Thanksgiving Tasting Event at The Market at 25th!

Church Hill People's News

A Look Back: Richmond Before Now on Instagram

Megan Rickman-Blackwood

69 comments

Alex Goodmundson
Alex Goodmundson 11/08/2019 at 12:47 PM

We will support the store more often and I hope others do too

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Ryan Herndon
Ryan Herndon 11/08/2019 at 12:52 PM

Bitch about wanting a grocery forever and then don’t use it.. Kudos Church Hill

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Vic Rejuney
Vic Rejuney 11/08/2019 at 1:39 PM

i mean it’s been there for a long time, it’s been used. it’s just super expensive and not everyone in the community has the money to afford it. that’s the problem. there is food there, but because of its price, it is still not accessible to many.

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Ryan Herndon
Ryan Herndon 11/08/2019 at 4:10 PM

Vic it’s only been there since March… And the article states people are opting for Traders Joes and Fresh Market as much as Kroger.

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Jennifer Taylor
Jennifer Taylor 11/09/2019 at 11:38 AM

Preach

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Kathi Sanders
Kathi Sanders 11/08/2019 at 12:58 PM

I went for the first time last week. I think we all get used to doing things a certain way and it’s hard to start a new routine. They don’t carry everything I need but I can use them at least once a week and lessen my trips to Publix. I do think that the construction around there makes it more difficult to access the parking lot.

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Renate Duggan Morehouse
Renate Duggan Morehouse 11/08/2019 at 1:00 PM

I love this store. We shop there several times a week.

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Shannon Hocutt
Shannon Hocutt 11/08/2019 at 1:02 PM

I use “but im supporting the community” as my justification for buying the expensive sushi when I have a craving. Last time, they had fresh bread pudding as well. ?

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Teresa Nieding Carrel
Teresa Nieding Carrel 11/08/2019 at 5:52 PM

That bread pudding is good!

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Debi Jones
Debi Jones 11/08/2019 at 1:03 PM

Always go there. The prices are higher than most but you can find some pretty good prices on meats and other things if you shop smart. Customer service is great.

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Urban Set Bride
Urban Set Bride 11/08/2019 at 1:14 PM

I needed this gut check. I own a business where people are happy to spend a little more to support something local that gives back to its community, and I need to stop being lazy and going to Lidl and Publix. It’s not the perfect grocery store but it’s worth paying a little more (if you can) to support the employees and keep the money in our neighborhood.

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Kate Barnes
Kate Barnes 11/08/2019 at 3:21 PM

Urban Set Bride I just drove past your shop this afternoon and wished I knew you in 2014 when I got married! ? #shoplocal

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Urban Set Bride
Urban Set Bride 11/08/2019 at 6:37 PM

Kate Barnes we had just opened up then, so we probably just missed you! If you ever have extra money laying around for a vow renewal, we got you! ?

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Adams Joshua
Adams Joshua 11/08/2019 at 1:18 PM

I understand supporting the community but in the era you have to be competitive with the competition. We are in the mist of “grocery store wars” where each grocery is offering something the other doesn’t. In this era the market on 25th isn’t really setting itself apart from the Kroger’s and Publix. In addition the prices are more so it loses whatever competitive edge it may have had because of prices.

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Heather Boylan Drew
Heather Boylan Drew 11/08/2019 at 3:46 PM

It is bigger than Kroger in its mission and vision to lift up and support our conmunity on many levels.

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HW Benjamin
HW Benjamin 11/08/2019 at 11:46 PM

Sometimes it isn’t all about the price. For many, the prices are reasonable depending on one’s needs. Of course some prices may seem exorbitant, yet the difference elsewhere isn’t worth the trip to save a dollar.

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Eric Dunn 11/08/2019 at 1:36 PM

I shop there pretty regularly and wasn’t aware the store was having these problems. For me, it’s really been an issue of proximity; I live at 30th & Leigh and it’s closer than Farm Fresh (not to mention cleaner and less crowded)–though reading that they pay everyone living wages and have a decent health care plan gives me good reasons to keep going back.

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Shirley Lee
Shirley Lee 11/08/2019 at 1:39 PM

I went there for smoothie/coffee couple times but the coffee shop was not open, I also went there trying to get sparking water (no flavor added) and kimchi. Nothing found so I left. I have noticed Farm Fresh start to carry some better brands like Stumptown coffee since last year. Kinda surprise.

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Chris Dosier
Chris Dosier 11/08/2019 at 1:39 PM

It’s a mismatch of market needs, location and the offering of the grocery store. People to the south will just go to Farm Fresh (if in a pinch since their prices are high, otherwise they’ll probably drive to the Kroger on Lombardy or Walmart on Nine Mile), people to the North will go to Food Lion on 360, people to the east to Walmart on Nine Mile. That just leaves people who can’t really commute as their customer base, and most of those people probably just shop at Family Dollar as people are creatures of habit and Family Dollar is much cheaper than the Market at 25th.

I live 5 blocks from the Market on 25th and have only shopped there twice since it doesn’t offer anything I can’t get at better prices somewhere else. The problem is they said they were putting this store up for people who can’t commute to other options (Walmart, Kroger, Food Lion) relatively nearby. But they basically are charging Ukrops/Whole Foods prices to serve these people while there is a Family Dollar literally across the street that sells everything the Market at 25th does minus all the produce, deli and meat cut options, which honestly the initial target market (people with limited commuting and financial means) have little demand for. So the question is, what exactly is the business model they were shooting for here?

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Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 11/08/2019 at 4:01 PM

I live very close, too, and I think prices have improved somewhat since opening, but it’s still more expensive. I like the store and want them to stick around, but I’m on a fixed income here so I can’t really afford to ‘support’ a store I can’t afford.
They also said in the initial publicity blitz they’d have delivery, which as a disabled person I have been looking forward to, as grocery shopping can be an ordeal for me.
We’ll see if these 2 factors improve soon.

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HW Benjamin
HW Benjamin 11/09/2019 at 12:06 AM

One model is, you can walk there and get everything there rather than driving to West End. Another is supporting their mission to create jobs, and supply fresh veggies, fruits, ham-hocks, sushi, all under one roof. And Mickey’s forties if you need/want.

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Church Hill People
Church Hill People's News 11/10/2019 at 12:30 AM

Chris Dosier They have incredibly cheap groceries and other things that are high end. Just depends on if you’re willing to look for a deal. You can buy a dozen eggs for 80 cents or organic free range eggs for $5.

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Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 11/10/2019 at 12:35 AM

The free range eggs are $8 by the way, well above the norm.

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Chris Dosier
Chris Dosier 11/08/2019 at 1:43 PM

And not to get too political, but maybe you’re proving the criticism of some of the liberal policies correct that you cite in your article. Fact of the matter is, you have to attract customers with a compelling value proposition in order to induce a change in shopping behavior before implementing your social agenda and blaming others for it’s costs.

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Ryan Herndon
Ryan Herndon 11/08/2019 at 4:14 PM

Chris, too late… You got too political. Don’t break an arm jerking yourself off.

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Ryan Herndon
Ryan Herndon 11/08/2019 at 4:14 PM

Chris, let me guess… Trickle down economics still work though? ?

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Chris Dosier
Chris Dosier 11/08/2019 at 4:26 PM

Ryan Feel free to give me an example of a low margin, small business with an ill-defined or misunderstood customer base like the one in this article that can pay it’s workers more than market rates. This article was overtly political and cited their political agenda as the reason to why the store should be supported. Guess I’m an asshole for understanding basic economics and pointing out that the social agenda should come 2nd to actually having a profitable business.

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Kate Barnes
Kate Barnes 11/08/2019 at 7:16 PM

All of the services they offer to their employees and the community as a whole ARE a compelling value proposition. Lol. ?

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HW Benjamin
HW Benjamin 11/09/2019 at 12:11 AM

Chris Dosier I’m guessing you answered your own question. That’s how McDonald’s started, in case you too young to know.

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Donna Carter
Donna Carter 11/08/2019 at 1:57 PM

I love the Market. I don’t do a lot of grocery shopping so I can only do a little. I was very impressed with the price of bread and eggs! Like all stores, you have to look around and pay attention to specials. At most stores I will use the self checkout but it is such a pleasure to interact with the people working there that I don’t use the self checkout.

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Kelly Weber 11/08/2019 at 2:22 PM

I am a teacher in the neighborhood and I have seen first-hand that The Market at 25th is literally changing the lives of my students and their families. I love seeing parents and grandparents of my students who are employed at the Market. Have you noticed how kind and outgoing the cashiers and other employees are? They are amazing people, and I usually leave smiling because of something one of them said! I love seeing how this opportunity to work at the Market has given new joy, confidence, and security to families that I have known for years. Really! I’m not making this up! Please support them!

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The U.....nion Hill 11/08/2019 at 2:25 PM

This store is a charity and not an actual business. The owners are free to run a social experiment, but I’m not going to be guilt tripped into supporting their unsustainable fantasy.

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I.b. 11/08/2019 at 2:40 PM

My fear is that there are some in the area just waiting for the market to fail.

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Kate Barnes
Kate Barnes 11/08/2019 at 3:19 PM

Paying an extra dollar here and there for groceries is nothing to my family when it means supporting our neighbors who DON’T have that extra buck. I roll my eyes at the people unhappy about any upcharge, considering the gentrification happening in church hill. So many of us CAN afford it. The money isn’t the issue.

It breaks my heart to know the market is struggling – it is a wonderful place that offers so much to those who need it. I love the kind employees that know my kids and, for goodness sake, will keep them entertained as I shop – Publix and Kroger dont know my family in that way, because we are just a number to them. There’s something to seeing familiar faces from our own neighborhood that makes a boring errand trip more fun, and helps me feel more connected to my community.

I’m still hitting trader Joe’s for their frozen meals and charcuterie/cheeses. If the market had a wider selection of these, it would cut my need to go to the West end entirely, which honestly would win my heart forever. Please don’t make me go to Short pump!

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Hester Bradshaw 11/08/2019 at 3:21 PM

Supposedly, this store was built for people living in a ‘food desert’ – are they supporting it? Statistics?? I have no intention of being guilted into supporting a charity simply because I live nearby or because of the progressive election win.

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Dana Bagby
Dana Bagby 11/08/2019 at 3:24 PM

Im wondering whether location and approach may be a bit awkward for many.

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Rachel Davis 11/08/2019 at 3:41 PM

We’ve been lazy. We are going to break our habits and start supporting the Market at 25th.

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Megan Rickman-Blackwood 11/08/2019 at 3:47 PM

@Hester per Norm the largest volume of shoppers are coming in during the 1-15th, mainly SNAP recipients who are doing their monthly shopping there. There has also been a very successful program that matches the produce/fruit purchases of SNAP recipients and allows them to get more healthy options for their families at a lower price. Maybe stop in sometime and give it a chance. No guilt intended, just perspective. Have a blessed day.

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Paul Hammond
Paul Hammond 11/08/2019 at 5:32 PM

Many of the people who don’t have that extra dollar will find a way to Walmart where they can afford to shop.

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HW Benjamin
HW Benjamin 11/09/2019 at 12:31 AM

Obviously you don’t live anywhere near the Market, and, works for Walmart and shops at Whole Foods. Correct?

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Paul Hammond
Paul Hammond 11/09/2019 at 7:17 AM

Not obvious at all. I’ve lived downtown for twenty years with a brief stint near chimborazo. I also work nearby. The point is this doesn’t help people who can’t afford to shop there.

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Paul Hammond
Paul Hammond 11/09/2019 at 7:19 AM

P. S. I shop at Aldis.

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Roy S Drake Jr
Roy S Drake Jr 11/08/2019 at 6:44 PM

Thanks for sharing. I’ve been wanting to go, but haven’t. Looking forward to going this evening or tomorrow morning.

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YMS 11/09/2019 at 3:08 AM

IDK, I hate the parking lot, actually witness someone backing up hitting another car then leaving.
Also I know this is a cultural thing, but why on earth are chitterlings in the deli on the hottest days of the Year …if at all? Are you supposed to eat ( which I don’t)them then go next door to the HUB and get your blood pressure checked? Went back, because I do like the greens there and it was pig feet and chitterlings? WTH? Cater to the demographic , don’t kill them. Cashiers are always very nice. Good place to pick up one or two things, but can honestly say would probably not ever make groceries there.

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Jennifer Taylor
Jennifer Taylor 11/09/2019 at 11:36 AM

This is symptomatic of what is going on In Church Hill. I purchased my home in North Church Hill in July 2018. I was fortunate enough to find a great home for under 300K which fit my budget. At the time there were 3 abandoned homes on the block. Fast forward a year and my property taxes were re assessed at 100k higher which has created a deficit in my escrow and a pmt of $250 a month extra in my mortgage which I did not plan for. Not to mention that the abandoned homes have been rebuilt and sold and they have 10 year tax abatement. So as much as I would like to foot the bill for a local supermarket that was built with the rich people in mind. I’ll pass.

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Dan McGrath 11/09/2019 at 12:52 PM

HW Benjamin, Is it really fair to use McDonald’s as a comparison? Your statement implies you are old enough to recall that in the era when McDonald’s was started towns and cities were flooded with small sandwich shops, burger joints, chilli parlors, etc. To point out a major success that went on to dominate the food sector without noting the thousands of similar businesses that went under (likely from being unable to adapt their business plans to the market realities) seems less than fair when responding to the original point made by Chris. By no means was McDonald’s customer pool an ” ill-defined or misunderstood customer base like the one in this article that can pay it’s workers more than market rates.” In fact, McDonald’s beat their competition in a large part by cutting down employee costs via industrializing self service and precooking their menu items.

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Juliellen Sarver
Juliellen Sarver 11/09/2019 at 2:31 PM

For those of you who say it’s too expensive for the people who need it most—have you even been there? I did a comparison shopping trip a few months ago. For the same items, Kroger was cheapest, Market at 25th was second and Food Lion came in highest. I do not go to Public because it IS actually quite expensive.

Plus, produce is discounted for EBT customers. Isn’t that what everyone has been yelling about?? Use it or lose it.

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Roy S Drake Jr
Roy S Drake Jr 11/09/2019 at 4:25 PM

I went today for the first time. It is a really nice store. And everyone was extremely friendly. They were doing food and beverage tastings. And I agree the prices were not bad at all. Lots of items were on sale. I bought about $40 worth of items and will go back mid week to get a few more things. I’m a fan.

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Kay Christensen 11/09/2019 at 3:27 PM

The Market seems to be trying to be all things- to all people. With the square footage of this store- that strategy won’t work. I shopped there a few times but ultimately left disappointed with the offering. I prefer Publix or Wegmans and don’t mind travelling to get what I want. The Market has no appeal to me. I prefer quality cuts of meat, high quality and nutritious prepared foods (this doesn’t include fried chicken and macaroni and cheese), a wide variety of organics, etc.

The Market would be wise to stick to their core mission of providing greater food choices in a food desert. Lower the prices, give the demographic in the food desert what they want- items they can find in Walmart or Family Dollar. This approach won’t fit the bill for those in the area who want a high quality, upscale market close to home.

Otherwise, go the other direction and take an upscale approach to grocery.

Bottom line, Church Hill is very divided economically. I don’t believe I’m alone in my shopping preferences.

It seems the market has spoken- and it’s never wrong. For long-term sustainability, it seems change is needed.

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Chris 11/09/2019 at 4:17 PM

Progressive ideas? Who is writing this nonsense? Let me know when your “progressive ideas” can fix the crime in those Democrat strongholds like Gilpin Court and all those other crime infested public housing. Nothing prevents you from access to health care lib, it’s just that you want someone else to pay for it. Funny how Democrats can only win with the welfare voters, and trust me, they aren’t progressive in the least bit.

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jean mcdaniel 11/10/2019 at 8:34 AM

What does “welfare voters” have to do with an attempt at a grocery startup? ” Democratic strongholds” ????? The success of this business will depend on customer base consistently shopping there. I have been there several times and each time I have NOT FOUND what I wanted, been accosted in the parking lot, and had difficulty getting out without having a wreck.

What I HAVE FOUND is helpful, courteous staff who are trying their hardest to make this a good place to shop!!!! for Democrats, Republicans, and anybody else that wants to shop there. I admit to being a little simplistic in my views. You work for what you get, pay your bills, treat people with respect, (until they show you they don’t deserve it) and live your life in such a way that you don’t have to cross the street for fear of being embarrassed by something you have said or done. AND, you shop where you damn well want to.

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Joshua Bilder 11/10/2019 at 10:20 AM

Its disheartening to read that the Market is loosing money. I want to echo that it just opened and it will take some time for people to get used to the idea of shopping in Church Hill again. Some of the programs Gold described implementing are good ideas. Taking a look at some of the successful markets in the neighborhood, Chimbo, the market on Main Street and even some of the corner stores, may provide additional insight. The lack of a brand name also dissuades people. I think people are more likely to go to Kroger if they have the choice because its a proven entity with a track record. That’s not to say they’re better, but that Kroger, Whole Foods etc. have been in the marketplace longer. And a certain element of competition and economics is at play here. The best idea may not have been creating a store with such a large foot print at first. Maybe they could have staggered the roll out and applied some additional neighborhood services in the building as they did with the medical center. Finally I would say that finger pointing and political semantics are not the solution. Its going to take a lot of hard work and a well thought out plan with additional input to make this a successful project and serve the needs of the community.

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Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 11/10/2019 at 9:15 PM

As an actual nearby low-income person, I’ll just shop here when I can and get the items that are affordable.
It’s nice there’s a real grocery store a half -mile from my house now, but those of us intended to be the beneficiary of all this largesse shouldn’t be guilted into spending more than we can to “support” a business that’s too expensive for our budgets.

That said! Quality is very good. Prices have definitely improved significantly recently overall. The $3 Lyft rides home are a major bonus.
I’ve been told they’re working on delivery still, which helps those of us whose disabilities make shopping in person an ordeal no matter how pleasant everyone is (and they really are). So I hope that happens in the coming year. It would greatly increase my ability to shop this market.

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Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 11/10/2019 at 9:23 PM

About 6 months ago I did a price check on about a dozen items I normally buy (vs Kroger), and none were lower. I’d like to try this again, though, and see more current results.

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Church Hill People
Church Hill People's News 11/10/2019 at 10:06 PM

Emily we’d love to team up with you and then report back to the community. We’ll pm you if you’re interested.

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Emily Klinedinst
Emily Klinedinst 11/11/2019 at 12:01 AM

I’d be happy to, depending on how specific a timeframe you’re looking at, since I don’t know when exactly I’d be able to. I’ll try and find the one I did before. Not sure if I saved it or not once it’d served its purpose.

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Tricia Dunlap 11/10/2019 at 9:57 PM

I’ve shopped there a half-dozen times and have had a better-than-Kroger experience every time. I bought 18 eggs (England’s Best) for $3.59 last week which is cheaper than Farm Fresh and comparable to Kroger. The produce section is small but I will make it my first-choice store and use other stores to fill in gaps as needed. My dollar bill is a ballot too.

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Daniil Kleyman
Daniil Kleyman 11/11/2019 at 1:41 PM

How’s the sushi over there? About to go grab lunch. Neighbors supporting local businesses loyally is one of the things that’s always made church hill awesome. If you have to travel elsewhere to save a few dollars, that’s of course understandable. But if you can spend money here and leave your dollars in the community, then you by all means should.

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Megan Rickman-Blackwood 11/12/2019 at 9:08 AM

@daniel the sushi is amazing! And the guy is there most of the day so if you have a special request or want something fresh they will hook it up. It’s so good!

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Tim 11/12/2019 at 9:24 AM

Me and my wife have done our weekly shopping there since it opened. I think some items are pricier but regular items and the produce are priced just fine. Our bill has gone up a little, but we buy the type of things that are pricier there. Also everyone who is saying the sushi is expensive, come on. I think it’s 50 cent more than Kroger if not the same price. Just a choice in the end for a lot of people in Church Hill. If more people shopped it may get cheaper, but a lot of people wrote it off after one visit or heard negative things from friends. I encourage everyone to go more often.

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Johnathan 11/12/2019 at 9:43 AM

I went there duing the grand opening. Shopped around and compared prices; thought they were higher than Kroger. Makes since though because kroger can negotiate a better price due to the volume of their purchase. Then i lost all hope for this store when I turned the corner and saw the bulk bins; $14.99 a pound, $12.99 a pound, $8.99 a pound. Seriously? It’s as if the owner did not do a market analysis at all. Eighty percent of the kids in the neighborhood are on free or reduced lunch, so who can afford to buy such things? It was actually kind of offensive to even offer that stuff for sale.

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Mark 11/12/2019 at 7:37 PM

Time will tell how long they can bleed.

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Isaac T. Graves 11/12/2019 at 8:48 PM

In my checkered past, I ran a community center in Boston’s South End in the early 1970s. People were complaining about high supermarket prices, so I had summer students from Dartmouth do a survey of the five chains in the neighborhood as well as surrounding cities. Sure enough the most expensive was the local A&P and the cheapest was the A&P in the leafy suburb of Wellsley.

What to do? I started a food co-operative that fed 150 families per week. I live next to Libble Hill park and can walk to the Farm Fresh and use the 5% off for seniors. When the 25th market opened I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised. They have 10% everyday for seniors, and 50% off on produce, so I stock up when I go. Moreover, the free van service means I can buy heavier stuff like a gallon of ice tea, larger ones of soft drinks and juices.without straining to drag it over the hill in my “little old lady cart” (I have some back problems).

My brother has sent me a While Foods gift card on occasion, and I use it for soap, cleaning products wine and stuff you can’t use EBT for. But that means the Pulse and #19 bus out to Short Pump, so I look forward to the one closer opening. However, the new friendly staffed nearby market is fine by me and I hope more will support it.

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Robert Chandler
Robert Chandler 11/12/2019 at 11:18 PM

It’s time yall started accepting cryptocurrency!!!!

https://go2w.net/r/mONWPY
https://youtu.be/yauxy78x22w

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Robert Chandler
Robert Chandler 11/12/2019 at 11:19 PM

The market can eliminate transaction fees!!!

https://merchant.k-merchant.com/register?reff=jamesstandback

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Sonny 11/13/2019 at 1:24 AM

A solution: Church Hill People’s News posts the weekly specials every Sunday or Monday for the Market and it is top of the list on the weekly email. Maybe people will start shopping there for the deals, then it becomes more of a habit to shop there and forking out a couple extra bucks for the convenience and knowing that the Market supports their employees in an ideal way becomes easy.

Also, it’s funny some of the comments. Every morning Sub Rosa is packed and the bread there is extra ordinarially more expensive than quality bread at any of the major grocery stores. I mean their bread is twice the price of the best bread at Kroger. Sub Rosa bread is very very good don’t get me wrong. But people in this neighborhood are willing to spend this extra ordinary price for it. You can get the best bread in the world in France for 2 euros. It’s all perception.

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CHPN 11/13/2019 at 8:40 AM

@Sonny, we’d have to get The Market to help us out with this for sure. I’ll see what they say and if they can commit to doing this.

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Rich 11/13/2019 at 9:10 AM

I stopped going because they’re produce section was a) limited and b) not great quality. Unless its changed since I last went, the whole store was dominated by the boxed-foods sections, and the produce section felt like an afterthought. Virtually every other major grocery store in the area has more produce real-estate than the Market. It’s hard for me to justify going to the Market if the main thing my family buys is in short supply.

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Ella 11/15/2019 at 6:12 AM

Maybe the new Planned Parenthood down the street will increase business.

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