Letter: How about expanding co-op at Earth Fare space?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Residents of Asheville: Wouldn’t you be thrilled if the French Broad Food Co-op moved into Westgate plaza to occupy the former Earth Fare space?

Asheville needs a locally owned grocery store that can compete with the corporate chains that dominate our choices as residents. The FBFC has been wanting to expand for years. It would be very “on brand” for Asheville to do whatever it takes to secure the former Earth Fare space for our member-owned co-op. I would certainly do whatever I could to support it!

— Tracy Kunkler

Editor’s note: Xpress contacted FBFC board of directors Vice President Ashley See, who provided the following response on behalf of the co-op: “We’re saddened by the closure of Earth Fare and the innumerable impacts on vendors, producers and our community at large. The co-op will be moving forward with expansion at our current location on Biltmore Avenue starting this spring. We’ve worked with local contractors and designers to develop a plan that saves our historic buildings and allows the co-op to stay open throughout the expansion phases. We received extensive community input, readied ourselves financially and assessed the best ways to grow in a changing food industry. Owners, look for relevant mail soon!”

Meanwhile, the Citizen Times reported March 27 that a collection of local investors, including Earth Fare’s founder, Roger Derrough, plan to “revive a handful” of stores, including the one at Westgate.


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