This has been a big summer for wish fulfillment. The Huntridge Theater revival campaign reached its community funding goal. Naked City’s long-awaited White Cross Market finally opened its doors. Emboldened by these realized dreams, I’ve sent an email to the Fresh & Easy chain, asking them to open a store in a former market and carnicería space at Maryland and Charleston.
I have two reasons for doing this. First, there’s still a real need for quality groceries in the city core, and the closest supermarkets to my Huntridge neighborhood home are a mile away, which is not a reasonable distance for the pedestrian-friendly Downtown we’re trying to build. Second, Fresh & Easy is smaller than most markets, so it won’t devour too much real estate, but it’s bigger than boutique storefront markets that don’t have the economy of scale to keep prices low. Sadly, the company hasn’t answered my email, presumably because it hasn’t turned a profit since coming to the U.S. in 2007 and isn’t interested in opening a store in my neighborhood. But there’s hope: Bloomberg.com says billionaire Ron Burkle is in talks to buy the chain and use it to reboot the Wild Oats brand. Billionaires like smart risks, don’t they?