Earth Fare Opening New Emory Point Location on July 8th

earthfare2015 construction

The new grocery store at Emory Point, Earth Fare, now has an opening date, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle

North Carolina-based Earth Fare Inc. has set a July 8 opening for its 24,000-square-foot store at the mixed-use development near Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It will be the chain’s first Atlanta location and also its first store with an “urban concept design,” said the company in an announcement. It will have a large emphasis on prepared foods, including sandwiches and smoothies.

Photo courtesy of Emory Point website

Quick Grocery Delivery Debuts in Decatur/Atlanta

Gwyneth points out this AJC article this morning…

Want to do your grocery shopping in one hour without leaving your house? Check out Instacart, the new online grocery delivery service that debuted in Atlanta today.

…Originally launched in San Francisco, the service allows you to select grocery items from multiple stores and have them delivered in an hour for $5.99 on orders above $35. Currently in Atlanta, you can order from Kroger or Costco and your first Instacart order (over $10) is delivered free.

If you’re not a Costco member, this is a great way around that barrier, since Instacart does not require a Costco membership to order items from the store. The company expects to add other stores in the future. Other cities have stores such as Whole Foods Market and Safeway available through Instacart.

…For now, Instacart is only available ITP for neighborhoods including Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown, Decatur, Virginia-Highland, Brookhaven, West Atlanta, Lenox and Old Fourth Ward. It will expand to areas OTP in the coming weeks, O’Connor says.

Organic Grocer Earth Fare to Anchor Emory Point Phase II

From Emory

Earth Fare, a North Carolina-based organic and natural foods grocer, has been signed to anchor new retail space being created in the second phase of construction at Emory Point, according to Cousins Properties, Inc., and Gables Residential.

The company, which markets itself as “a healthy supermarket,” will lease a 24,782-square-foot space on the ground floor of the new Phase II development, a street-level location along Clifton Road, says Jason Frost, vice president of Cousins Properties.

…Although finding a grocery store to serve an urban setting with a strong pedestrian focus wasn’t easy, “I think an organic-type grocer fits in very well with the Clifton corridor,” Frost says. “We’re excited. We think it’s a huge win.”


Best Grocery Store for the Money

More goes into which grocery store you frequent most than who has the widest variety – though that is quite important.  However, location, hours, selection and all sorts of other factors can also come into play.

So I expect that there will be a wide variety of opinion on this topic, since I have to assume we all live at least slightly different lives, but it will still interesting to hear what everyone has to say!

Clamor for Trader Joe's Heard By Creative Loafing

There’s something to be said for being the home of local newspaper writers.

Both Creative Loafing’s Thomas Wheatley and Andisheh Nouraee live in the Decatur area and generally show a special interest/affinity for our little city.  Both have commented on this site in the past, especially Wheatley, and often topics started in Decatur forums (be it on blogs or message boards) go citywide on a newspaper site.

Thus is the case with my recent posting entitled “When Publix Just Ain’t Enough“.  The letter to the community that inspired the post showed up a couple days later on the Oakhurst Message Board and started a dialog, which Wheatley recently highlighted on CL’s Fresh Loaf blog in a posted called “Oakhurst Residents Push for Trader Joe’s“.

Earlier I said that I loved spreading TJ’s rumors because they generally catch fire faster than a thatched-roof. And while that might be true, at this point I wanted to highlight a couple points regarding this very issue already addressed by the city in a February post entitled “The Value and Importance of a Downtown Grocery“.

Click the continuation to read 2 different comments from Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne that directly respond to bringing a TJ’s into Decatur… Continue reading “Clamor for Trader Joe's Heard By Creative Loafing”

DeKalb Farmer's Market Needs to Get With the Times

Since last we discussed the evils of plastic (or paper) grocery bags, I’ve seen a growing number of people toting their own bags to the grocery store.

Maybe its due to the proliferation of reusable bags around the Publix check out or Whole Foods complete eradication of the plastic bag, or maybe its just that people in the U.S. don’t want to be shown up by China. But whatever it is, reusable bags are seeing an upsurge like never before.

But what about the DeKalb Farmer’s Market? That Georgia-famous warehouse of chaos where one can purchase an endless variety of quality fruits/veggies/meats/spices/alcohol at a discount price (as long as you’re willing to give and take a few elbows to the face)?

We’ll, according to Deryck, its a little behind the times…

…When I entered with bags in the cart, I was told that it would be necessary to check them at the information counter. They provided a plastic numbered card. That’s easy. But wait!, you cannot retrieve your bag, an employee must do this for you when you checkout. The cashier must shout out “bag check” to get the person who eventually arrives and then gets your bag.

Meanwhile you have a lot of angry people behind you wondering why the cashier cannot complete your transaction. This slows down the process, aggravates you, the cashier and those waiting in line. They’re all usually nice folks I might add. This procedure is extremely inefficient and creates a very unpleasant shopping experience for all parties including the staff. It gives one the impression that conservation is just too damn difficult to be worthwhile. Why not place the bag retrieving person(s) at the exit doors to check the receipts of those leaving with their own bags?

On the flip side…My wife says that she has taken her bags into the store with her and not been stopped. But maybe she just got lucky.

Regardless, Deryck is right. The current setup obviously dissuades the use of reusable bags. It’s much worse than being glared at by angry baggers (barely any of that at Publix anymore BTW). Angering other shoppers is, in many ways, an even a bigger deterrent.

For an organization with such a large recycle center on site, DFM should make reusable bags easy to use. This might require a change to the way things have always been done in the past, either with a Costco-style receipt checker or designated types of bags that can be taken into the store…just thinking out loud here.

Ultimately, it goes without saying that if reusable bags continue to increase in popularity, the Farmer’s Market is going to need to alter its current “check your bags at the door” policy in order to retain a significant contingent of customers that don’t want to take home 3 dozen plastic bags.

The Value and Importance of the Downtown Grocery Store

This recent Washington Post article concerning the disappearance of NYC grocery stores has got me in a Jane Jacobs sort of mood today, thinking about how Decatur’s lack of a foot-friendly grocery store affects our sense of community. (And I apologize upfront to any potential Krogerites out there; I just can’t think of the Kroger on Commerce as accessible to pedestrians. Isolated by a stream of high-speed traffic and a massive cemetery, I rarely think of driving there, let alone taking a stroll to pick up hummus.)

As the article points out, though its often the poorer neighborhoods of our cities that struggle to retain grocery stores, it is also a very real threat for those living in more upscale areas. While poorer areas can lose their grocery stores to declining sales, stores in more upscale neighborhoods can be deterred or torn down as sky-high real estate prices make it harder to turn a profit.

Such is the case in NYC.

But how does that relate to Decatur? Simply put: this could or is happening to Decatur.

While we have numerous options when it comes to grocery stores within driving distance, there still are zilch that are easily accessed by foot. And the clock ticks at this possibility, as property value downtown continues to rise. While we surely are not (yet) a Druid Hills or Morningside in terms of affluence, even in early 2008 a downtown grocery store would be quite an expensive investment for whomever wanted to have a go at it. Especially with other grocery stores in such close proximity. However, I personally believe if done correctly, it would prove a successful and critical addition to a city that prides itself on “community”, but has no common place to shop for the essentials.

Many of us may frequent the Kroger on Commerce or (more likely) drive up Clairemont a short ways to shop at the Emory student-infested Publix at N. Decatur and Clairemont, but its just not the same as having a grocery store we can call our own. Attracting either a Trader Joe’s, Publix or (dare I say) “independent” grocery store to the hub of downtown would go a long way to eliminate the sense that we are becoming just another upper-class satellite city in the metro area full of boutiques that isn’t self-sufficient because we have nowhere to buy stuff we need on a daily basis.

Yes, there are many logistics that would need to be worked out. Like where are we going to put it and how much parking would be provided. But ultimately I think it could be a profitable entity that is a completely necessary piece of the city’s evolution.

But until the day when a developer with the available funds and foresight agrees with me, I will just patiently wait in my pedestrian-friendly, community-oriented city without a grocery store, insanely jealous of those that can pick up fruits and vegetables without ever setting foot in their car.