Grove Corner Market to relocate to West Asheville

Grove Corner Market to relocate to West Asheville-attachment0

The Grove Corner Market, a small but well-stocked grocery located in Asheville’s Grove Arcade since 2003, plans to leave its downtown location and set up shop in the space soon to be vacated by the Haywood Road Market in West Asheville, which recently closed.

“We’ll be out [of the Grove Arcade] by the end of the month; we don’t know exactly when,” market co-owner Ron Ainspan told Xpress today. Then, the store will open in West Asheville’s Bledsoe Building some time in June, with a new name.

Ainspan said financial pressures forced the market to shut down its Grove Arcade location. “We’ve been struggling to make ends meet over here, and we got behind a bit in rent over the winter, and we weren’t able to come to an agreement over getting current” with the Grove Arcade ownership, he said.

The new store, which will be in the location of the recently closed Haywood Road Market, will share some similarities with the Grove Corner Market’s current offerings but introduce some differences as well. “It will change,” Ainspan said. “I think that we want to be a combination grocery and deli, offering things like specialty cheeses and wine and beer. We’ll definitely do a much larger national-foods selection, with lots of produce.”

He added that he and business partner Rosanne Kiely would still like to run a downtown-Asheville grocery. “We haven’t given up on the idea of re-opening in a location elsewhere downtown,” he said. “If the right opportunity came along, we’d certainly look into it.”

As for the new store, it is currently nameless. “We are taking suggestions,” Ainspan said. “If anyone has got a good idea for a name, we’ll entertain it.”

Jon Elliston, managing editor

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

30 thoughts on “Grove Corner Market to relocate to West Asheville

  1. missemmalee

    Bledsoe Corner?
    I always liked that word..”Bledsoe”
    say it five times fast.
    Bledsoe
    Bledsoe
    Bledsoe
    Bledsoe
    Bledsoe

    PLEASE have ready-made meals…

  2. Jane

    NOOOOO…I love it where it is. Don’t move to West Asheville. The Grove Corner Market is easy to get to and has some basics when you need them.

  3. thedj

    Glad to have the Grove Corner. I’ll be interested to see if they adjust their prices to accomodate their West Asheville customers vs. the Grove Arcade and downtown residents.

  4. AvlResident

    Should the reporter have mentioned Ron Ainspan’s connection to Mountain Food Products, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and efforts to promote local agriculture? Were those efforts part of his business model for the Grove Corner Market? Will they be part of his new West Asheville grocery?

    Did Greenlife’s proximity to downtown play a role in hurting Grove Corner Market’s business? Was Grove Corner Market simply too small to become the main grocery for downtown residents, as apparently Mr. Ainspan envisioned when he opened it? Some reference back to the Mountain Express article when this store opened (http://www.mountainx.com/news/2003/0129biznotepad.php ) might be useful in analyzing why this business did not succeed. Such analysis might be useful (and perhaps expected) from what is now Asheville’s only real newspaper.

    The lower income residents of downtown’s subsidized housing for the elderly could not be expected to sustain a downtown grocery. Where do the higher income residents of downtown’s upscale condos buy their groceries?

    What are the implications and connections of this business closing to the overall health of the Grove Arcade? Without a daily newspaper that thoroughly covers the news, watches trends, anticipates developing stories, goes behind the scenes and has writers capable of analyzing what’s really happening in our area, Asheville is coming to depend on the Mountain Express to do all these things. Can you? Will you?

  5. AvlResident

    Should the reporter have mentioned Ron Ainspan’s connection to Mountain Food Products, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and efforts to promote local agriculture? Were those efforts part of his business model for the Grove Corner Market? Will they be part of his new West Asheville grocery?

    Did Greenlife’s proximity to downtown play a role in hurting Grove Corner Market’s business? Was Grove Corner Market simply too small to become the main grocery for downtown residents, as apparently Mr. Ainspan envisioned when he opened it? Some reference back to the Mountain Express article when this store opened (www.mountainx.com/news/2003/0129biznotepad.php ) might be useful in analyzing why this business did not succeed. Such analysis would be useful (and perhaps expected) from what is now Asheville’s only real newspaper. The lower income residents of downtown’s subsidized housing for the elderly could not be expected to sustain a downtown grocery. Where do the higher income residents of downtown’s upscale condos buy their groceries? Did the reporter talk to any of the store’s customers?

    What are the implications of this business closing to the overall health of the Grove Arcade? Without a daily newspaper that thoroughly covers the news, watches trends, anticipates developing stories, goes behind the scenes and has writers capable of analyzing what’s really happening in our area, Asheville is coming to depend on the Mountain Express to do all these things. Can you? Will you?

  6. jeribella

    Hooray!!! thats so exciting! i’m so freakishly happy for the move!!

    hmm… i guess bledsoe corner market is too similar? my happiness is clouding my creative abilities :-)

    thank you!!

  7. Jason Sandford

    JBo, is the Ingles on Tunnel Road (in the old Walmart location) outside the boundaries of the central business district?

  8. Jason Sandford

    AvlResident, Jon can speak for himself, but my 2 cents:

    The short answer is: Yes.

    The Mountain Xpress is working hard to do all that you mention. It’s a daily challenge, and we need the community’s help, in terms of collaboration and support. I think we’re up to the challenge.

    The purpose of the blog post was to get the news out. All your questions regarding analyzing the impact are worthy ones for an in-depth print follow-up.

  9. Prof. Sandford –

    Yes, the other side of the Tunnel is outside of the CBD, although that is a close alternative for folks. I guess Greenlife is now the closest grocery for downtown’s CBD, although it is really geared to a very specific clientele. What with the Grove Market & the CVS both gone, this leaves a significant void for downtown residents as far as access to non-restaurant food & personal supplies. Outside of the Asheville Drugstore, which has very limited hours, there currently are few downtown living sustainable-infrastructure businesses for residents to access.

    Any business entrepreneurs out there?
    A grocery, late night drugstore, or laundry-mat/cleaners downtown could provide a good business plan opportunity.

  10. erin_s

    We at the GCM will be instituting an aggressive delivery campaign, mostly out of our concern for the residents of the Battery Park and Vanderbilt Apartments who are going to be completely left in the cold by the decision making of the Grove Arcade Management. If this is something that you as a downtown resident would be interested in, please let us know. I know it’s not the same as shopping for yourself so conviently, but we feel an obligation to the downtown community and plan to do what we can. Also, we do not want to completely abandon downtown. We are moving west with a VERY open mind to opening a satellite store in a more busy-friendly downtown location, when and if we can. You’re right, a void is being left – I live downtown so I’ll be feeling it too.

  11. julie wishart

    I am very excited to have that great market closer to home!!! Nice. I always liked the name Cornicopia (not sure if that is the spelling)

  12. Where are all the journalists going to pick up lunch now? Almost every time I’d go into the GCM, I’d run into someone from one of the two newspaper offices.

    I guess I’ll have to go back to making my own pimento cheese all the time. Sad.

  13. Downtown Guy

    We’re really disappointed to see the market leaving its current location. I don’t think a day goes by that I’m not in there either having breakfast, lunch or grabbing groceries,wine and beer. To say I’m disappointed would be a huge understatement and the Grove Arcade management should really sucked it up a little and made this work.

  14. True dat Skippy,
    My apologies to one of the oldest co-ops, perhaps the oldest co-op in Asheville. I would be remiss to forget the FB Co-Op.

    However, doesn’t it seem as if the French Broad Co-Op always struggling just to be? I’m a member and I love shopping there, but every time I go I always hear financial woe’s from friend employees. Greenlife definitely affected their business.

    Regardless, it’d be great if another small local grocery opened downtown for residents & visitors alike.

  15. Well, I rarely went in there, but I walked by it practically daily…hmmm…maybe that has something to do with it?

    Yep, that’s what happens. If you are not proactive in supporting something, they might go away.

  16. AvlResident

    Mr. Sanford writes, ” . . we need the community’s help, in terms of collaboration and support. I think we’re up to the challenge.”

    Asheville needs a real newspaper, so let’s hope you are indeed up to the challenge! Not sure how the community helps “in terms of collaboration and support.” You probably need another Julian Price at this point to offer financial support to beef up your staff. But what else can the community do?

  17. Doni

    I am delighted!!!!!!I own The Revolving Door Consignment Boutique at 742 Haywood Road and I will be very happy that the Grove Corner Market will be down the street from me. We are buliding West Asheville to be the “GO-TO” place for all your needs. Stop in my great little hidden treasure of a store right accross from Pastabilities. I have a fabulos eclectic selection and something for everyone.
    (There is plenty of parking behind our building)

  18. Bill Barnwell

    Well this will be interesting. Funky West Asheville will be quite a change from the Manhattanesque ambiance of the Grove Arcade. Will the market owners be able to adjust?

  19. lydia see

    Maybe we can convince the Echo Mountain folks to add a laundro-grocery-sundries store to their LAB on LEX? ;)
    but seriously folks, what are downtown pedestrians to do? bussin it with groceries sucks, esp. frozen items which thaw on the ungodly long ride, good point JBo about the laundry, and damn, there is not a single ‘normal stuff’ store within moderate walking distance of downtown.
    Also, on a more personal note, I work in the Grove, and will sorely miss our lovely neighbors, it’s been a pleasure doin’ business with you/ hanging out in the perch/ enjoying your wine and beer tastings/ having a friendly neighborhood grocery. It’s definitely going to leave a HUGE void in the Grove.
    xo

  20. Rosanne

    Hey folks… thanks for the kind words. We sure will miss downtown, and all of you. As far as us adjusting, we’ve adjusted more times than I can count in this particular venue. Adaptable we are. But, the really cool thing (I think) about our store is that it serves everyone – from Manhattanites to the funky folks. We plan to have it be just like that there too. Hope you come over and enjoy the ecclectic mix!

  21. just saw this on craigslist:

    Fresh Quarter Produce in Grove Arcade – NOT MOVING! (Downtown)

    Date: 2009-05-16, 4:41AM EDT

    This is a notice to inform everyone that WE WILL NOT BE MOVING!

    Although the Grove Corner Market in the Grove Arcade, downtown Asheville, will soon be moving to a new location in West Asheville, we (their sister store) – The Fresh Quarter produce – stand,will remain in our former location.

    We will be adding a few new items to our store to help compensate for the loss of the grocery. Items soon to be added include more snack/bulk items, pre-cut fruit cups/pre-made salads.
    We also hope in time to add more local canned items such as jams, jellies and honey (& research the possibility of other items). Please come check us out! Show your support and tell us what you think. Your feedback is helpful and greatly appreciated!!!

    Sincerely,

    The Fresh Quarter staff

    P.S – we are still accepting sign-ups for our Local CSA program, starting next week.
    1/4 shares (1-2 people) $225 for 22 weeks
    1/2 shares (3-4 people) $375 for 22 weeks
    full shares (5-8 people) $650 for 22 weeks

    call (828) 252-0023 or (828)280-7804 for more info or email freshquarter@gmail.com

    LOCAL STRAWBERRIES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.
    $3 a pint $14 a gallon.

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