Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Can email campaign save our Whole Foods?

Some folks have started a Whole Foods email campaign, trying to get them to reconsider starting a SouthPark store before an Elizabeth store. Here's some suggested text:
Whole Foods belongs on Elizabeth Avenue in Charlotte!

There's no sense in beating around the bush. As a neighbor of the exciting Elizabeth Avenue project, I can tell you that there's no better place in Charlotte for your store, and there are thousands of people like me who are waiting anxiously for Whole Foods to open.

As you might expect, then, we are extremely disappointed to hear that plans for this location are now "on hold."

Most of the people here in Elizabeth, Myers Park, Eastover, Uptown, and Plaza Midwood are familiar with your stores in the Triangle area, Atlanta, even Charleston and metro DC. We're big fans, and we'll be big shoppers. Why?

* Because we love to shop right here, and we don't like fighting the congestion in places like South Park and Ballantyne.
* Because a store at the intersection of Elizabeth Avenue, Hawthorne Avenue and 4th Street is right on our way to work - and home - and to most of the places we love in Charlotte.
* And because these are communities that are incredibly supportive of our "own" merchants.

At Elizabeth Avenue, you'll not only be the best option for Charlotte's urban condominium market and its numerous historical close-in neighborhoods, you'll be the only convenient option. So you can expect a much higher share of our grocery dollars than you'd ever get in a more competitive
location like South Park.

We hope the news we're hearing about Whole Foods in Charlotte is wrong and that you'll soon be announcing plans to accelerate the opening of your store in Elizabeth. It's the right place, and the best place, for you to be.
The folks to email are CEO John Mackey (, South Region President Scott Allshouse ( and VP for Real Estate Norah Smith ( Note the email pattern. Assuming it holds, you can probably figure out a few more people to email from this list.

While an email campaign probably can't hurt, I have to say I'm dubious. I have my doubts about the effectiveness of email campaigns to begin with. But more importantly, I think the SouthPark store is a done deal. No way Whole Foods can concede the SouthPark market to competitor Earth Fare, whose SouthPark store is scheduled to open in November. If you're Whole Foods and you're comparing the two locations, it's pretty clear that Elizabeth can wait and SouthPark can't -- as much as I hate to say that. But maybe we should all email them anyway, just to make sure they don't change their minds and never come to Elizabeth.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Street car delay's first loss: Whole Foods

It's probably not completely accurate to blame the loss of the Elizabeth Whole Foods store on the inane decision to put off work until 2013 work on the center city street car line. But certainly it played some role in the decision making. "Both Whole Foods and Grubb were disappointed the planned streetcar line connecting uptown to Central Avenue was delayed recently," the Observer reported.

Look at the area immediately surrounding the proposed Whole Foods site in Elizabeth. Then look at the area immediately surrounding Sharon and Colony roads, where the SouthPark Whole Foods will go. I'm partial to my neighborhood, but let's face it. If you're a developer and you take some Whole Foods honchos to Elizabeth and Hawthorne and tell them to put a store there, you're selling the future. And up until recently you were able to throw in the street car to sweeten that future. Now take those same Whole Foods honchos to Sharon and Colony. You don't have to imagine a bright future for SouthPark -- it's already there.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Free ice cream

Crime Dawg writes:

The Dawg has a sweet tooth, so he can’t resist passing along the news that the recently opened Elizabeth Creamery on Elizabeth Avenue is having a free ice cream day tomorrow, 12-6 p.m. The ice cream is made "in house," one more reason to support a new addition to our neighborhood. And tell ‘em the Dawg sent you!

Mercy! Graves found under parking lot

Who knew there was so much history in Elizabeth? Some of the work going on at Mercy Hosptial has been stopped while archaeologists dig up the 13 Revolutionary War-era graves workers found underneath the parking lot. One of the gravestones they found read: "Here lies the body of Thomas Barnet who deceas'd May The 3d, 1776, aged 22 years." (Think you have a cemetery in your back yard? Check here.)

Wonder how Mr. Barnet died. Wonder what life was like in our neighborhood back then. Did everyone add a second story to their single-story log cabin? Were cankerworms and crime dreaded? I suppose life was quite a bit different in those days. After all, Independence hadn't even been widened yet.