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Future Uncertain When Lease Ends On Bloomingfoods East Side Store

Bloomingfoods started in 1976.

Bloomingfoods’ east side location will close by 2020, but the co-op’s board of directors is keeping options open for a new location in the same part of town.

Bloomingfoods currently leases the building, but the property owners want to redevelop the area, including the former K-Mart, once the co-op’s lease expires in 2020.

Maggie Sullivan is the president of Bloomingfoods’ Board of Directors. She says they haven’t ruled out moving to a new location, it’ll just take money that the store doesn’t have right now.

“We’re looking at coming up with a vision, coming up with a capital campaign, getting our membership to rally, tell us what they want, and help us make it happen,” Sullivan says.

“Local is getting more common, which is wonderful, but it means we have to innovate.”

If the location permanently closes, it would mean a loss of about 40 jobs.

The announcement came with other updates to members on the store’s current financial situation and future. Sullivan says they are considering other business models.

“We used to be the only game in town where you could buy your alfalfa sprouts and your wheat germ, but you can find those things anywhere now,” Sullivan says. “Organic is getting more common. Local is getting more common, which is wonderful, but it means we have to innovate.”

Bloomingfoods has closed two locations in the past several years. The co-op has faced increasing competition from larger stores moving into town including a recently-opened third Kroger location and Fresh Thyme on West 3rd St. French Thyme announced they would be opening a second location in College Mall earlier this year.

Bloomingfoods will host a forum on May first to update members on options for the future of the business.

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