Letter to Unhappy Neighbors

I wrote the following letter this morning to the 5 people who signed the petition published in the Chestnut Hill Local this week.  I want to share it here in case others stumble upon my blog.

Dear Respected Neighbor,
I am deeply saddened by the recent discovery of a neighbor group's displeasure about my new business' location.  As one Chestnut Hill neighbor to another, I am writing to try to open a line of communication between us.  As I wrote in my Letter to the Editor of the Local this week, my interests are to provide a service that I believe most of Chestnut Hill value by offering quality foods, responsible business practices and hours of operation that recognize most of us lead extremely busy, stress-filled lives and need sustenance before and after typical working hours.

I really spent a lot of time so that this store was carefully designed to respect my immediate neighbors and to limit noise, traffic, odors and any other unpleasant side effects that may exist in other food business.  

  • I intend to offer food delivery so that people leave their cars at home or don't fill all the parking spaces around the store.  I intend to offer a pedestrian incentive where those that walk will receive free and immediate delivery home by hand or bike.
  • A loading zone already exists in front of this space.  I will use this to offer curbside pick-up to those that pre-order.  Most of this traffic will be the same traffic that drives this street every afternoon to pick up children from school or return home from work.  They will drive slower; they will have an opportunity to become a part of the community; they will respect and appreciate the beauty of this neighborhood that they only view as a blur in the periphery to date.
  • All trash and recycling receptacles are located in the building.  We intend to offer extended recycling for all neighbors and hope that the immediate neighbors take advantage of us to drop off plastics that they cannot recycle at their curb.  We intend to compost our food wastes off-site.  Good Food Market plans to exemplify the most modern and ethical treatment of wastes available.
  • We plan a "wi-fi" lounge in the front of the store as a place where people can meet with each other inside the building and therefore not congregate outside on the sidewalk.  We hope those that wait for the bus can come in from the cold.  We hope neighbors will use this space for meetings, gatherings and socials to grow closer together as a community.
  • In our meetings with distributors and suppliers, we explain that we are a small storefront and can only handle small truck deliveries.  We will not have early morning or late night deliveries.  We are implementing a sophisticated Point-of-Sale system with a bar code scanner so we can check deliveries in as quickly as possible.  
  • We are a small store that uses socially responsible business practices.  That means, I believe the greater good of the community outweighs my own ambitions.  I am terribly disappointed that this group does not understand this about me.  I hope to get to meet each of you personally at some point so that we can get to know each other and respect one another for the contributions we each try to make individually to our community.

Thank you very much for reading this.  I do hope you feel welcome to respond to me directly.

You Are Unbelievable! Yes, You!

I am so completely blown away by the support that you have shown me since the Chestnut Hill Local story ran last week. So many of my friends and neighbors have called, emailed, stopped me in the street to offer words of encouragement, enthusiasm and support. For those of you I know and those of you that I hope to know very soon, thank you!!!!

Please let me share with you here some of the really wonderful comments that you left as you signed up for our mailing list:

I can't wait for your market to open. My wife and I have 2 young boys (2 and 4 months) and this is JUST what we always wanted.

Just checked your site out. Outstanding - I cannot wait for your store to be a part of the Chestnut Hill community!! Kudos to you for your fine taste and green approach.

I'm ready for you. With grown children and a busy career I need more than chinese take out. Good luck, I'll be in.

Very excited about your store .... Your idea about curbside delivery is awesome-best of luck.

I read about your endeavor in the CH Local today and am excited that you will be opening. I was very encouraged seeing the architectural renderings of the space on your website. It appears that you have an appreciation of good design and care about the look and feel of your store. I wish you much success.

Great article, great placement. Impressive! Congratulations!

I was thrilled to read about your upcoming store ... I live in Flourtown but am in Chestnut Hill all the time (my child goes to Springside School) and I grew up in Chestnut Hill too. I love your concept. As a mother of three children, the idea of getting the three of them into and out of the store, coming home and making a delicious dinner - seems overwhelming - you are onto something. Best of luck!

Can't wait for you to open!

Looking forward to shopping at your store.

Congrats on the wonderful article and awesome play Good Food Market got in the Local. I'm so happy for you and wish you the best of luck! Can't wait till it opens!

Mazel Tov & good luck!

Even though I live in Ambler I spend a lot of time in Chestnut Hill as I pick up my grandsons at Chestnut Hill Academy several days a week. Will look forward to the opening of your market, which sounds very exciting and just what the community needs, and will tell my friends about it. Best of luck with it.

This is a GREAT idea. In the UK, where I'm from, there is a similar concept in the Marks & Spencer convenience stores. Their food is delicious, often pre-prepared (chilled or frozen) but rather pricey. You might want to take a look at their. I hate cooking, am useless at it, and yet am for some reason always the one in charge of shopping and putting meals on the table for myself, husband and two young girls. I run out of ideas for nutritious, easy, quick meals fast and we often eat the same thing. I'd love to go organic and support local suppliers but am concerned about breaking the bank doing so. Anything you can do to help me feed my family with healthy, tasty, well-priced food would be GREATLY appreciated!! Good luck. I'll be following your progress.

Looking forward to a new neighborhood store!