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metro
10-21-2005, 11:04 AM
I know this topic has been talked about numerous times but lately I have been hearing rumors that they have decided on OKC. I dont have enough evidence other than rumors and from people I dont normally get my credited information from, that OKC has been chosen for a new site, particularly Nichols Hills. I was just curious if anyone else has heard anything new. In the meantime, I emailed them and got this as a reply:


Thank you very much for your interest in Whole Foods Market and obvious support of our company. We appreciate your desire to have one of our stores located in your area. Your email will be forwarded to the Store Location Development Team for consideration.


Unfortunately, we don't comment on potential locations.



Sincerely,

Julie Merrill

Customer Information Coordinator

gqofoklahoma
10-21-2005, 01:54 PM
I know this topic has been talked about numerous times but lately I have been hearing rumors that they have decided on OKC. I dont have enough evidence other than rumors and from people I dont normally get my credited information from, that OKC has been chosen for a new site, particularly Nichols Hills. I was just curious if anyone else has heard anything new. In the meantime, I emailed them and got this as a reply:







Sincerely,

Julie Merrill

Customer Information Coordinator


I think Whole foods would be a great boon to the city...especially for vegetarians like myself :), but I think a location near Penn Square would be more suited for them.

John
10-21-2005, 02:32 PM
I think Whole foods would be a great boon to the city...especially for vegetarians like myself :), but I think a location near Penn Square would be more suited for them.

I would imagine the store would be in the Penn Square area, though on the Nichols Hills side. There isn't really space in Nichols Hills, itself, for a Whole Foods. The only space I see in the area that would work well is the old Burlington store, unfortunately for Akin's, two doors down.

jbrown84
10-21-2005, 03:41 PM
How big is a Whole Foods store? How much land are they going to need?

metro
10-21-2005, 03:42 PM
about the size of a WalMart neighborhood market, maybe a little bit bigger, but they are good about design if they go urban they can go up and such

jbrown84
10-21-2005, 03:53 PM
Do they prefer to build new, free-standing buildings or do they go into empty strip mall locations?

TStheThird
10-21-2005, 07:24 PM
I went to Whole Foods in Austin today. I had a nice cup of gelato and browsed through the wine section. They have some amazing chocolates. Great place... I would welcome one with open arms to OKC.

Luke
10-21-2005, 11:50 PM
It would be great if they came to town!

windowphobe
10-22-2005, 06:18 PM
There's a piece in tomorrow's Oklahoman which looks at the quest for a downtown grocery store, and there's a quote from a Whole Foods rep.


Spokeswoman Kate Lowrey believes that geographically, Oklahoma City would fit well within the chain's southwest region of stores. The store isn't on the chain's immediate expansion list, but she said that could change.

"I think it's just a matter of time," Lowrey said. "We don't have a perfect science when looking at demographics. We look at education levels, population density, and acceptance of natural and organic foods. We're on a smart growth track rather than a rapid growth track."

The operative phrase here is "just a matter of time".

gqofoklahoma
10-23-2005, 04:25 AM
we need to flood them with e-mails and letters :)

poe
10-23-2005, 09:22 AM
i never thought a grocery store would excite me, but the relocated whole foods in downtown austin was very impressive.

soonerguru
10-23-2005, 12:35 PM
TStheThird highlights the very reason we will never see Whole Foods here. "While browsing the wine section......"

Our liquor laws are antiquated to such a degree we will never see Whole Foods or Costco or any other specialty retailers in that vein. They make a lot of their money off of liquor sales, but we live in the Buckle of the do-gooder Baptist belt, so we have only Wal-Mart offshoots to look forward to for the forseeable future.

Change the liquor laws and the doors will open to these kinds of unique grocers. It's nice to dream but if you've spent any time at the State Capitol, you would see why progress like this is such a quixotic fantasy.

brianinok
10-23-2005, 02:40 PM
TStheThird highlights the very reason we will never see Whole Foods here. "While browsing the wine section......"

Our liquor laws are antiquated to such a degree we will never see Whole Foods or Costco or any other specialty retailers in that vein. They make a lot of their money off of liquor sales, but we live in the Buckle of the do-gooder Baptist belt, so we have only Wal-Mart offshoots to look forward to for the forseeable future.

Change the liquor laws and the doors will open to these kinds of unique grocers. It's nice to dream but if you've spent any time at the State Capitol, you would see why progress like this is such a quixotic fantasy.While I completely agree that our liquor laws are the most antiquated in the county, I do not like it being blamed on people like me-- Baptists. You might be interested to know that not all Baptists (not even a majority) are anti-drinking, close-minded fundamentalists.

The reason our liquor laws are so antiquated is two-fold: 1) We were becoming a state just as Prohibition was gaining steam, and 2) To "protect" American Indians (because they are much more susseptable to alcoholism).

All that being said, I think we need to make a push to change the liquor laws in Oklahoma. It truly is the reason Wal-Mart has a monopoly in the grocery business here. More, great grocery companies would come here if they could sell wine (HEB, Trader Joe's, etc.). Plus, I really hate having to go to liquor stores to buy wine. I just want to buy it at the grocery store, like you can in virtually every other state!

soonerguru
10-23-2005, 03:37 PM
While I completely agree that our liquor laws are the most antiquated in the county, I do not like it being blamed on people like me-- Baptists. You might be interested to know that not all Baptists (not even a majority) are anti-drinking, close-minded fundamentalists.

The reason our liquor laws are so antiquated is two-fold: 1) We were becoming a state just as Prohibition was gaining steam, and 2) To "protect" American Indians (because they are much more susseptable to alcoholism).

All that being said, I think we need to make a push to change the liquor laws in Oklahoma. It truly is the reason Wal-Mart has a monopoly in the grocery business here. More, great grocery companies would come here if they could sell wine (HEB, Trader Joe's, etc.). Plus, I really hate having to go to liquor stores to buy wine. I just want to buy it at the grocery store, like you can in virtually every other state!

I did not mean to paint all Baptists with such a broad stroke. However, the Baptist lobby is the primary opponent to changes in liquor and gambling laws in Oklahoma.

If you want the heat off the Baptists, work within your own denomination to change their lobbying efforts. They are hands down the biggest church lobby in Oklahoma and they are opposed to sensible liquor laws, and they let their opinions be known at the Legislature.

jbrown84
10-23-2005, 05:55 PM
While they have been active in opposing expanded gambling, abortion, and same-sex marriage, Oklahoma Baptists have not been against any liquor law changes that I have seen. Maybe twenty years ago...

Pete
10-23-2005, 08:08 PM
I hope it happens... OKC has very few grocery store options.

Another great choice -- especially for downtown or even Lower Bricktown -- would be Trader Joe's. I actually prefer it to Whole Foods and they are typically a little smaller and may be a better fit for OKC's campaign for an urban grocer.

Karried
10-23-2005, 08:21 PM
Plus, I really hate having to go to liquor stores to buy wine. I just want to buy it at the grocery store, like you can in virtually every other state!

Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one slinking into a liquor store hoping no one would notice!! Ha,ha...

Truly, it's amazing to me that I can't buy a bottle of wine at the grocery store! And it took me months after moving here to figure out why it took me 4 beers to feel like I had 1 beer! (3 point beer - glorified water) ...

Has anyone seen Baptists at our BBQ? ( something like that?) it is hilarious - the Baptists have a feud with the Mormons and run around calling the Mormons 'water drinkers!' lol - It's really a cute movie.

Okay I'll let you all get back to topic :Smiley051

swake
10-23-2005, 08:48 PM
Why would you "slink" going into a liquor store?

BG918
10-23-2005, 09:20 PM
Downtown would really be best-suited with 3 smaller grocery stores than one giant one. One on the north side of Bricktown (in the middle of future Bricktown residential and Deep Deuce), one near the Arts District (near future residential in the CBD and west side of downtown), and one in midtown for those there and the Mesta Park/Heritage Hills neighborhoods. It would be great to see local grocers instead of nationals like Whole Foods, Albertsons, etc. Maybe Tulsa-based Reasors or even Duncan-based Goodners? Are there any local grocery chains in OKC?

Karried
10-23-2005, 09:33 PM
Why would you "slink" going into a liquor store?

I don't know ... maybe because I'm used to walking into a grocery store to buy wine and beer .... I don't usually drink hard alcohol so to me it seems sort of strange to go into a liquor store to buy beer and wine.

See, in other states ( where I am from) since people can buy beer and wine in grocery stores many liquor stores carry mostly hard alcohol.

And when you do go into a liquor store here, it's just to buy alcohol only. I tried to buy a greeting card at a liquor store to give to a client and the clerk told me they aren't allowed to sell anything other than liquor.

So, I slink in to avoid discovery by my local PTA moms and neighbors who might think I'm a raging, closet alcoholic buying vodka and orange juice when I really just want a good wine with dinner.:cheersmf:

okcpulse
10-23-2005, 11:41 PM
The reason our liquor laws are so antiquated is two-fold: 1) We were becoming a state just as Prohibition was gaining steam, and 2) To "protect" American Indians (because they are much more susseptable to alcoholism).

All that being said, I think we need to make a push to change the liquor laws in Oklahoma. It truly is the reason Wal-Mart has a monopoly in the grocery business here. More, great grocery companies would come here if they could sell wine (HEB, Trader Joe's, etc.). Plus, I really hate having to go to liquor stores to buy wine. I just want to buy it at the grocery store, like you can in virtually every other state!

We really shouldn't get off topic here but I need to clarify this before assumptions begin to snowball, because Oklahoma's history with liquor laws aren't as they seem.

For starters, wine isn't sold in virtually every other state in a supermarket. While it is true a majority of states allow supermarkets to sell wine as a grocery item, 15 states do not. And you'd be surprised at who doesn't. Colorado is one of them. Utah is another (not surprising) and so is Kansas. How about Pennsylvania? Bet you'd never guess that one.

But the real opposition to ANY changes in our liquor laws doesn't come from religious influence. It is from the liquor store lobby and wholesale distributors. Surprised? Your average liquor store owner won't warm up to the idea of losing revenue to a supermarket. And most store owners aren't giddy about selling cold beer, to avoid the overhead cost of reach-in coolers.

While brianinok is correct that Oklahoma became a state during the height of prohibition, the laws written to "protect" Native Americans is actually myth, not fact. 3.2 beer was legalized in Oklahoma in 1933 while prohibition remained in place in this state until 1959. But 3.2 beer was a nationwide push, not just Oklahoma. And when state residents repealed prohibition in 1959, retailers that had been selling 3.2 beer for 26 years didn't want what happened in Kansas in 1948... having to follow the same regulations as liquor stores would. And 3.2 beer retailers made the convincing argument that since 3.2 beer was constitutionally defined as non-intoxicating, it shouldn't apply to Oklahoma's alcoholic beverage laws. And since then, it hasn't. Plus, many states in the 1940s and 1950s forced liquor stores to sell everything at room temperature. Only Oklahoma and Utah still enforce that policy.

And finally, Wal-Mart Supercenters are aplenty in Houston and they all sell wine. So does Sam's Club. Why the lack of grocery choices in Oklahoma City? Unsuccessful grocery chains with bad ideas and not so much investment. Wal-Mart leaped at that opportunity to conquer the Oklahoma City market.

okcpulse
10-23-2005, 11:51 PM
I don't know ... maybe because I'm used to walking into a grocery store to buy wine and beer .... I don't usually drink hard alcohol so to me it seems sort of strange to go into a liquor store to buy beer and wine.

See, in other states ( where I am from) since people can buy beer and wine in grocery stores many liquor stores carry mostly hard alcohol.

And when you do go into a liquor store here, it's just to buy alcohol only. I tried to buy a greeting card at a liquor store to give to a client and the clerk told me they aren't allowed to sell anything other than liquor.

So, I slink in to avoid discovery by my local PTA moms and neighbors who might think I'm a raging, closet alcoholic buying vodka and orange juice when I really just want a good wine with dinner

Karried, rest assured many of those PTA moms pretty much already know the only place to buy wine is at a liquor store. But since you're a bit self-conscious (and that's okay), stay away from the rickety liquor stop and stick to a nice wine store, which is really a liquor store that pushes a huge inventory of wine and beer and keeps a smaller section for hard liquor.

Many newer liquor stores in Oklahoma City are following the "wine market" trend.

metro
10-24-2005, 08:23 AM
Our liquor laws are antiquated to such a degree we will never see Whole Foods or Costco or any other specialty retailers in that vein.

Never say never, last night I was sitting at a NBA Hornets game in OKC next to JD Runnels, two months ago you would of told me I was crazy

Karried
10-24-2005, 09:17 AM
thanks OKCpulse, now I'm educated on OK alcohol facts!

I am just joking in some respects about slinking - I really don't care either way what the neighbors think - it's just different to me.

And I will search out some nice wines stores. I do go to the Memorial and Western liquor store where there is a talking Cockatoo that I've bonded with....

:cheersmf:

metro
10-24-2005, 09:36 AM
Here you go.....


Study aims at drawing a grocery store to downtown.

By Steve Lackmeyer and Tricia Pemberton
Business Writers

WHEN Will Fathree moved into his Deep Deuce apartment, he looked forward to being near the popular restaurants, bars and attractions that are part of downtown Oklahoma City's revival.
It wasn't until after he had moved in that Fathree realized downtown was missing one critical need for residents: a grocery store.

"I didn't think it would be a big deal before moving in," Fathree said. "Before, I had always lived where a supermarket was close by."

Until a new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened recently at NW 23 and Pennsylvania Avenue, Fathree drove about 15 minutes to the Wal-Mart Supercenter at Belle Isle Station. His drive is down to 10 minutes -- still an annoyance when driving through heavy traffic on NW 23.

"It's just something we have to accept," Fathree said.

Or is it?

Conventional wisdom has long dictated that downtown simply doesn't have enough rooftops to support a grocery store. But that theory is about to be tested, with the hiring of R-W Ventures and The Kilduff Co. to prepare a study aimed at luring grocery to the heart of the city.

"It's critical that we get a store," said Dave Lopez, whose Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. is joining with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the city's planning department in the hiring. Lopez noted a housing study completed over the summer showed downtown could support more than 4,000 new rental and owner-occupied residences over the next few years.

"So much of this seems to be a chicken versus egg dilemma of 'which comes first?'" Lopez said. "People who want to live downtown always want to know where they can get groceries."

Right now, Fathree said, there isn't a place. A full grocery trip requires a trip outside of downtown.

A 2003 study by economist Larkin Warner estimated downtown's population at more than 4,100 people.

Jim Brooks, marketing specialist for the Food and Agriculture Products Research and Technology Center at Oklahoma State University, said generally, a 10,000-square-foot grocery store wants to collect $63,000 a week. That would give a grocer about a 5 percent gross. Once all services are paid, the profit drops to about 1.7 percent.

If that translated to 630 people who would spend $100 a week in the store, then a downtown grocer would have no trouble achieving profit margins if just a fourth of the population shopped at the grocery.

But grocery executives have told Brooks they want to wait until the downtown population hits between 8,000 and 10,000.

"And then there's almost got to be a rattling of the windows demanding a grocery store before one comes," Brooks said. "Even then, there will have to be some incentives to get someone to ride out that first year to establish their base and their consumers. There's just not enough people to support a grocery store at this point."

Intrigued
Grocers interviewed by The Oklahoman say they've noticed downtown's revival and are paying attention to reports of upcoming housing projects.

"You'd have to do some looking at what they're saying the live-in population would be," said Steve Lawrence, general manager for Oklahoma City-based Buy for Less stores.

"We haven't looked at it for a long time, because there just wasn't anything down there. We hear the people are coming, but we'd do the same thing as with any other store; we'd have somebody go do the demographics."

Crescent Market, now in Nichols Hills, got its start in the Plaza Court Building at NW 10 and Walker Avenue, across from St. Anthony Hospital. The store moved in the early 1960s, at the start of the city's northern sprawl.

"I was offered the opportunity to put a store back in that building, but I'm just not interested," owner Robert Pemberton said. "It's not feasible. Back when we were down there, Oklahoma City was still so small you could get people in from the north side or the south side. Everything was still centered around downtown. But now, you're not going to draw people from Edmond or Norman."

But Pemberton also believes downtown will someday be able to support a store. "It's still too young," he said.

Lawrence said downtown may be too segmented a market, with equal pockets of high- and low-income residents. He also questions whether a grocer can target shoppers who will just buy bread and milk but who will do all of their bulk shopping once a week at a discount store.

"You still have Mesta Park and Heritage Hills, but the disposable incomes are not always there," Lawrence said. "The money is going into renovating their big, old homes. Like Edmond, you have big, lovely homes, but then people are maxed on their mortgages."

And that leaves grocers with two-income families who cook less -- and shop less.

Most downtown residents are in the 24- to 35-year-old range, just starting their careers, Brooks said.

"There aren't your typical 4.2-person families," Brooks said. "How many of these people cook full meals versus eating out in restaurants?"

Pemberton suspects if downtown development continues, it might get a "small" grocery store -- 20,000 to 30,000 square feet.

"But these days and times, when they offer 5,000 different types of soda, you'd really have to pick and choose what you sell. You wouldn't have the space to carry everything."

Challenging assumptions
Oklahoma City Planning Director John Dugan isn't ready to accept "not ready yet" as an answer. He's visited other cities struggling with the same challenge and believes Oklahoma City should at least test the waters.

"Dallas just opened their first big downtown supermarket, and they have more than 10,000 units," Dugan said. "We have Heritage Hills, Mesta Park thriving without a full-fledged grocery. It really depends on expectations: people in surveys indicate they like downtown with or without the amenities you find in the suburbs."

But downtown development would pick up even more with a grocery store, he said.

Larry Kilduff, president of the Kilduff Co., is a retail real estate developer who believes his peers need a reminder that there's still money to be made in the urban markets they fled 30 years ago.

"There has been a dis-investment in the urban areas to where you have a hole in the doughnut," Kilduff said. "But most of these areas still have the density that would support retail. In most of these cities, and Oklahoma City is no different, development has moved far enough away that you find the hole in the doughnut is large enough to support retail again."

The problem, Kilduff said, is that most retail developers want to go where the work is easy. They don't want to mess with historical zoning, urban site acquisition and parking issues if they can build on a pasture near sprawl housing instead.

That's where Kilduff believes he can step in and help Oklahoma City lure a downtown grocery.

Oklahoma City, the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. are paying Kilduff and his partners at R-W Ventures up to $25,000 to prepare a demographic study and analysis on the best site for a downtown grocery.

He's complimentary of developers such as Anthony McDermid and Bert Belanger, who suggested a spot for a grocery as part of their planned Triangle town center along Walnut Avenue, north of Bricktown. But Kilduff will be looking for what would be the perfect site -- and what it would take for the city to acquire it and make it downtown's first grocery.

"What we try to do is the predevelopment and pre-market work necessary to show it to someone who might not do all that on their own. But if they see it, they might make the investment," Kilduff said.

Kilduff can't promise success. He admits the work he's doing doesn't have much precedent -- and Oklahoma City is joining a handful of other cities that are just now trying to get grocery stores for their new downtown residents.

"This is a very bold step for them (city leaders) to ask, 'Can we prove a market, find a site, and then go out and market this to the retail community?' And it takes a desire to do something unusual, for a city to do something ahead of the curve."

metro
10-24-2005, 09:38 AM
Here's the address if you would like to write a letter for a Trader Joe's downtown, unfortunately they do not have an email contact:

117 Kendrick Street, Suite 700
Needham, MA 02494

TStheThird
10-24-2005, 03:14 PM
The Cellar Super Store is a pretty good place to buy wine in OKC. It is on May Ave. and it is giant. They have a great Itian red selection. The store is the size of a Hobby Lobby... Plenty of wine for all... heck of a deal.

BDP
10-24-2005, 03:32 PM
Good info pulse. I agree that the liquor laws are more due to special interest concerns by liquor stores and our liquor distributors (those guys don't want anything to change).

In the end, I wouldn't mind having to go to another store to buy liquor, as long as the access wasn't prohibited and they could chill their inventory. Not being able to buy a bottle of wine on Sunday is extremely annoying, as is not being able to buy properly chilled wine or beer.

floater
10-24-2005, 10:36 PM
Downtown would really be best-suited with 3 smaller grocery stores than one giant one. One on the north side of Bricktown (in the middle of future Bricktown residential and Deep Deuce), one near the Arts District (near future residential in the CBD and west side of downtown), and one in midtown for those there and the Mesta Park/Heritage Hills neighborhoods. It would be great to see local grocers instead of nationals like Whole Foods, Albertsons, etc. Maybe Tulsa-based Reasors or even Duncan-based Goodners? Are there any local grocery chains in OKC?

I agree. Key to satisfying downtown residents is walkability. Can you walk to the grocery store with your groceries? Or does the store offer delivery for a fee that's not outrageous? For this reason, I think BG is right: there needs to be not big one, but at least three smaller ones (about 2500 sq ft), one for each of the sides he(she) mentioned.

I think downtown leaders think the grocery has to be niche in order to attract non-downtown residents who can supplement neighborhood sales. But in all likelihood, what these residents will do is shop at the local groceries for their immediate needs and shop at the lower-priced grocers elsewhere on the weekends for their longer-term needs. That's what my neighbors did when I lived downtown. If a purpose of downtown is living in a pedestrian-friendly environment, then what's the appeal if a Bricktown resident has to drive to Midtown for their basic groceries?

Of course, we can have a large niche grocer like Trader Joes and a couple of smaller groceries, but would that really happen?

BG918
11-02-2005, 12:55 PM
Instead of going after Whole Foods, maybe OKC should work on getting Wild Oats. They are very similar to Whole Foods, and the one in Tulsa has been a huge success. They also have an organic cafe and deli/bakery that would be an awesome addition to downtown OKC. Or what about Tulsa-based Akin's Natural Foods, they already have 2 locations in OKC why not downtown or midtown?

metro
11-02-2005, 02:29 PM
Akins is selective in content and doesnt have a cafe' nor is it very upscale. I think a Wild Oats would be best fit and most easy to attain. Lets get a group mailing going!!

BG918
11-02-2005, 06:49 PM
^ You should just send them an e-mail, they take that into consideration when choosing a new location. I sent them an e-mail about coming into Norman and they replied that they are currently looking at expanding somewhere in the OKC metro soon. They said they have had a lot of success in Tulsa (they are expanding the store there) and believe they can do well in OKC as well. We'll see how long this takes to happen though...

gqofoklahoma
11-02-2005, 09:03 PM
akins is a poor excuse for a health food store compared to wild oats and whole foods...im sorry

Patrick
11-05-2005, 09:13 PM
I think it's interesting watching some of the people that go into Akins. Some of them literally look like they're on their last leg. Quite a few people that go in there think they're getting the cure to all of their ailments. Most of what Akins sells is snake oil. I suppose they do have a nice vitamin section though, if you can get around the sour smelling herbs.

foodiefan
03-10-2007, 06:09 PM
The commercial real estate transactions in today's paper had a listing for Whole Foods in Walnut Square. . . 3500+ sw feet. Does anyone know if this is the REAL Whole Foods?? If so, any thoughts as to why in S OKC?? I know it's growing, but. . .

mranderson
03-10-2007, 06:27 PM
The commercial real estate transactions in today's paper had a listing for Whole Foods in Walnut Square. . . 3500+ sw feet. Does anyone know if this is the REAL Whole Foods?? If so, any thoughts as to why in S OKC?? I know it's growing, but. . .

3,553 to be exact. I doubt it. I think the Whole Foods you are mentioning is a supermarket. 3,553 square feet is about ten percent of the space a supermarket needs. It is probably some type of other specialty place.

If they use Whole Foods, then that trademarks it in Oklahoma thus barring the use by the larger chain.

foodiefan
03-10-2007, 06:32 PM
RATS!!!!! I thought the SF was small and couldn't figure the location but was hoping just the same. Wonder how can they use the Whole Foods name. . .then again, guess you can do anything until someone tells you to cease and desist.

mranderson
03-10-2007, 06:41 PM
RATS!!!!! I thought the SF was small and couldn't figure the location but was hoping just the same. Wonder how can they use the Whole Foods name. . .then again, guess you can do anything until someone tells you to cease and desist.

The name of a business must be registered with the governing body that regulates corporations in each state. In Oklahoma, it is the secretery of state. The only way out of it may be a blanket nationwide registration.

If it is registered to someone else, they have exclusive rights.

Decious
03-10-2007, 08:15 PM
I believe that the national registered trademark for the chain is "Whole Foods Market", so they'll be okay whenever they decide to enter our trade area. I actually think that a Whole Foods Market would do well on the south side. The areas around Rivendell have really boomed.

mranderson
03-10-2007, 08:48 PM
I believe that the national registered trademark for the chain is "Whole Foods Market", so they'll be okay whenever they decide to enter our trade area. I actually think that a Whole Foods Market would do well on the south side. The areas around Rivendell have really boomed.

You may be correct. However, Whole Foods could file a protest due to similar names. It happens on occasion.

Spartan
03-10-2007, 11:33 PM
I'm pretty positive we'll be in their next round of expansion locations coming out at the end of this year.

I can't say where it will in all likelihood be, mostly because there's a lot of sites they may be looking at, but I'm 60% positive that Tulsa's location will be between Tulsa and Jenks in a massive new-urbanist development called Tulsa Hills.

Turanacus
03-13-2007, 09:10 AM
I wish we would get a Whole Foods Market in the downtown area, it's really the only thing keeping me from moving down to the Triangle area.

Saberman
03-13-2007, 10:15 AM
I'm not sure, but they may be referring to Whole Foods Nutrition Stores. Why they would go in at Walnut Square is beyond me. Isn't that where the Health Food Center is located?

metro
03-13-2007, 10:32 AM
I emailed them to clarify. I also emailed Wild Oats again to see what's stopping them from locating in OKC.

Turanacus
03-13-2007, 10:42 AM
The conglomerate, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, etc etc - - They will not entertain offers from Oklahoma because of our liquor laws. Those stores make considerable revenue from Spirits sales, they can't do any of those sales in this state because the octogenarians in the capital won't wake up and smell the roses.

metro
03-13-2007, 10:46 AM
Yes Turanacus, we've already discussed that numerous times, although funny enough everytime I've talked to them, they never mentioned that was the reason why. Also riddle me this Batman, how come Wild Oats built in Tulsa 7 years ago and the store still remains? Last time I checked Tulsa was in Oklahoma! They're Marketing Manager even publicly asked OKC why we didn't try and persue them instead of trying to lure Whole Foods. Now they're the same company. Wild Oats was just as good in my opinion. Now instead of having a few Wild Oats, we're stuck with nothing but our own Akin's.

Turanacus
03-13-2007, 11:03 AM
Ah, I see that Whole Foods Market did acquire Wild Oats, as Whole Foods often does with competitors. I didn't know there was a Wild Oats in Tulsa, this fact still doesn't negate the point about Whole Foods Corporate being uninterested in our market place because of ignorant laws. We probably should have pursued Wild Oats while we had the chance, but 7 years ago we would have had little bait to interest them in a Downtown/Midtown location.

We need something to cater to Block 42, Deep Deuce, Centennial, Legacy, The Hill, many other lofts and condo's residents not to mention the commuters leaving downtown. I'd hit the store often while leaving the Downtown Y to head back up to 42nd and Penn. The only options I have are Ghetto Homeland and War zone Walmart.

metro
03-13-2007, 12:48 PM
Yes Turanacus, but there had to have been something to lure Wild Oats to Oklahoma dispite the liquor laws. I know you're a fairly new member of this site as we've already discussed this topic in length before, however my point is all these "organic markets" if you will operate on the same basic model. Apparently Oklahoma was enough for Wild Oats. Why can't they or Trader Joes, Whole Foods or anyone else land a store in the OKC metro. It would still be a huge success dispite the liquor laws. Not to mention the OKC metro is far more lucrative and booming than Tulsa. I've been to the Wild Oats Market in Tulsa and I was not impressed by the location. It's in an older section of town, tucked in a small older shopping center and is almost hard to notice from the outside with the poor signage. If Tulsa can support one for 7 years plus now, I know OKC can support at least one without it having to sell liquor.

Turanacus
03-13-2007, 01:22 PM
I've read all of the (previous) threads on this topic, they were all lacking my valuable insight which is why I am revisiting. Also, my interest has gained new momentum as living in the Block 42 area has become quite attractive to me.

metro
03-13-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm not sure what you're bringing that is "new". Many posters have already mentioned the antiquated liquor laws being a hindrance. Many have also mentioned the downtown housing boom and thousands of people migrating downtown this year. Triangle (which includes Block 42, Deep Deuce, Maywood Park, Flat Iron, and more!) as well as Bricktown, The Arts Quarter, Midtown, Automobile Alley, CBD and other downtown districts with housing. Nothing I read was new, OLD NEWS. We all know and so do potential developers about luring a downtown grocery store is appealing to all these districts and developments.

http://www.okctalk.com/okc-metro-area-talk/6423-downtown-grocery-store-not-coming-soon.html?highlight=luring+grocery+store

CCOKC
03-13-2007, 02:44 PM
I have been hearing a lot about a grocery store in dowtown for a long time. Why do we need a Whole Foods specifically. At one time I think Whole Foods was a local grocery store in Austin( i think). I just moved back to OKC from Boise ID and they have a local grocery store called the Boise Coop. This is not as nice as a Whole Foods but is definitely a "destination" grocery store for this area. It has organic produce and a deli and a bakery as well as a gelateria. Why can't we have a local coop type of grocery store here and stop trying to look for an outside company come in here and save us. I am not sure how a coop works but am sure somebody local could do it.

jbrown84
03-13-2007, 02:57 PM
I'd be all for something local.

BG918
03-13-2007, 06:17 PM
I'd be all for something local.

What about Akin's? I think downtown, especially the Deep Deuce/Triangle area, needs a health foods store and then maybe a smaller urban grocery store like Crest Foods or even a CVS or Walgreen's in Bricktown. Maybe when more people move down there build a full supermarket like Homeland or Albertson's in Midtown.

jbrown84
03-13-2007, 06:25 PM
Yes, it seems there would definitely be a market for a CVS or Walgreens downtown.

foodiefan
03-13-2007, 06:46 PM
Re: Metro/Wild Oats location: looks are deceiving. . .it's in Brookside which is one of the most popular older sections of town. Lots of neat shops and eateries on Peoria' also close to Cherry Street area. . .close to all of the old (as in 30s) oil $ homes. I think it's what OKC's Western Avenue is striving to be. . .has a great liquor store in the same shopping center. . .so you can get your libations after you've shopped. I love it, but am hoping for somthing bigger when "it" finally a happens in OKC.

Re: a local coop--excellent thought, however, not a "year-round" solution. . .we have great local/organic Farmer's Markets during the growing season, but a summer like we had last year really hurts local (state wide) production. . to keep a year-round supply, I think you would have to have access to year-round markets. . .like Central Market/Whole Foods

metro
03-13-2007, 07:16 PM
foodiefan, I hope and know OKC's Western Avenue isn't striving to be Peoria. I think OKC's Western Ave. is already a better destination despite it not having a Wild Oats. Western Ave is far more nicer and cleaner. I saw plenty of transients and run down stores along this area in Tulsa. Not saying OKC is better, just saying Western AVenue is way nicer.

I would also love and prefer to see a local co-op grocer in downtown. I think a Crest and Akin's combined into one would be ideal. They are also both local even though Akin's is a national chain. Perhaps we should get an email campaign going to Crest.

BG918
03-13-2007, 09:49 PM
foodiefan, I hope and know OKC's Western Avenue isn't striving to be Peoria. I think OKC's Western Ave. is already a better destination despite it not having a Wild Oats. Western Ave is far more nicer and cleaner. I saw plenty of transients and run down stores along this area in Tulsa. Not saying OKC is better, just saying Western AVenue is way nicer.

I would also love and prefer to see a local co-op grocer in downtown. I think a Crest and Akin's combined into one would be ideal. They are also both local even though Akin's is a national chain. Perhaps we should get an email campaign going to Crest.

Western Ave. district better than Brookside? When was the last time you on Brookside? That area is booming and becoming a lot bigger and more walkable than the small pedestrian-friendly stretch of Western Ave. around the Will Rogers Theatre. Brookside should be what Western strives to be. Western Ave. does have loads of potential though if the different parts can be united, especially Crown Heights to Nichols Hills. Future light rail line?

And wasn't it rumored that CVS or Walgreen's was opening up a location at the bottom of the Legacy apartments on Walker? That would be good for future developments around the Arts District and lower Midtown. Both areas of downtown need some kind of urban grocery, and soon there will be a need to the south as well with Core to Shore.

jbrown84
03-13-2007, 10:15 PM
Hmmm... Western vs. Brookside...

It's tough because I think you have a much better selection of restaurants on Western if you consider the whole length of it, but Brookside is far more compact. But they also have a Delta Cafe right there on the main strip. :O

metro
03-14-2007, 11:01 AM
I never said Western was better than Brookside, just Peoria or whatever street the Wild Oats is on.

jbrown84
03-14-2007, 08:28 PM
The Wild Oats is on Peoria, which is Brookside.