TDI -- Reporter's Blog

Feb. 1, 2012 at 2:24pm

Downtown 'Fresh Market' RIP

This was the scene in September . . .

This is the scene today . . .

Well, that didn't take long.

Doors are locked, shelves are dismantled, inventory is gone, lights are off, signage is removed, and a giant 'for lease' sign was in the window yesterday.

comments [28]  |  posted under Downtown, Market, Tacoma


by KevinFreitas on 2/1/2012 @ 2:38pm
Wow, dang. That has to be a new record! I was excited by the name early on but not so much when the bars on the window an inventory on said shelves said "mini mart" instead.

by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 2/1/2012 @ 2:57pm
yeah. i think the only 'fresh' thing in that store was a pack of organic american spirits.

by KevinFreitas on 2/1/2012 @ 3:21pm

by Erik on 2/5/2012 @ 9:20am
They were only open for a week before closing. They really didn't do anything to sell good there except to move a few shelves in.

I hope the new tenant removes the bars in the window they placed in.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 8:06am
Thanks Walmart!

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 11:39am
It is unfortunate when people with limited experience and funding hastily open new businesses only to shutter their storefronts when they run out of money or realize that they have to work more than 20 hours a week to learn, be attuned to, and constantly tweak their services or product to what Tacoma customers and neighborhoods will support.

The constant revolving door of business openings and closings in locations such as the bank of storefronts that includes what used to be Drakes (700 block of Pacific Ave) has been so constant it has created it’s own sucking wind tunnel. In the last 18 months the former Drakes club and adjacent properties has been the Firwood, On the Rocks, the Kokonut Club, the Surreal Ultra-Lounge and now In Nightclub.

These fly-by-night concerns leave in the middle of the night usually breaking a lease in the process. This projects and solidifies a financially unstable and inconsistent downtown for a supposedly revitalized city.

Tacoma city officials claim to always want to help startups. It is an opportunity and the city’s responsibility to take a more active role in the positioning of businesses and vetting business license applications. A businesses’ ability to demonstrate adequate funding to stay in business should be seriously considered before the city approves or denies business licenses based on such data.

I have witnessed and experienced ongoing nuisance behavior, property destruction, drug-dealing and gun fire with the above businesses; there is a definite connection with bar businesses that come and go and nuisance behavior. And seriously do we not have enough bars now on the north end of Pacific Ave?

What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 11:50am
the invisible hand of the free market works in mysterious ways

by fredo on 2/6/2012 @ 11:54am
Interesting post Scout.

I have commercial property which I rent out.

Let's say I have a vacancy and I'm presented with 2 potential lessees.

One is Starbucks Corp. They are a grade A business and would definitely have the rent available every month. But they are only willing to pay $2000/month.

My other option is Brumhilda's Hungarian Goulosh Deli. Brumhilda has never run a business before and her business plan looks stupid to me. However she is willing to pay $4000/month. Furthermore she has sufficient liquidity in her 401K account that she can pay for one year in advance.

Should the City of Tacoma deny her a business license because she can't show any ability to stay longer than one year?

What about my interests?

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 11:55am
What does this have to do with Walmart?

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 11:57am
walmart secret agents are killing off the competition before they even have a chance to realize their destiny! Haven't you seen the terminator movies?

by KevinFreitas on 2/6/2012 @ 12:01pm
Really good points @scout! There's a memory about a location and even type of business that should be kept to help guide new potential businesses toward or away from a certain place or business model. The experience of each business in a place should be able to easily learn from the mistakes of prev. businesses there and elsewhere about town.

I've started a Business Deathwatch series of blog posts to help draw attention to these kinds of issues in hopes of current businesses learning better what questions they might ask and helping future businesses try not to repeat the same mistakes.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 12:03pm
If fresh market started as a food cart, they might have been able to test different areas of town and expand when appropriate.

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 12:05pm

Perhaps at that point, the Economic Development Department could provide free classes that could be offered on the basics of starting a business. One of the basic elements of starting a new business is having money to get you through the tough times.

The biggest issue is to educate people that you don't play business and stop when it becomes tough or boring. The critical decisions are made prior to opening - the fact that Brumhilda has a crappy business plan, does not scream success especially since she is willing to put her 401K on the line.

Many people could probably be talked out of going into business if they really understood the issues that they will confront. Those issues should be fully examined prior to an individual starting up a business.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 12:07pm
how much for a storefront in fredo city?

by fredo on 2/6/2012 @ 12:11pm
Maybe I don't want Brumhilda to be talked out of her business. Maybe I would like an opportunity to collect $48K today on a risky business VS. $2K today on a safe business. Maybe her goulosh deli will become the next big thing even though every person who looks at her plan thinks she's a loopy old bat. I'll bet at least one smart person tried to talk Bill Boeing out of his airplane manufacturing startup.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 12:14pm
also what if you're supporting the sonics guy boycott against starbucks?

by fredo on 2/6/2012 @ 12:18pm
I wonder if the city really has expertise to give business advice. Cases in point:

1. Five years ago the city loaned $2M to prium development corporation. Didn't do a thorough review of the loan docs and only discovered later that it was a scam.

2. Ten years ago the city council borrowed $84M in general obligation bonds to fund a "convention center" because some "consultant" told them we needed a convention center. I shouldn't have to tell you that's been a decided flop.

3. Three years ago the city was given $700K to improve the DT area. This was spent to put in 30 or 40 parking spaces for a private business.

Not sure the city has much business acumen or credibility.

by KevinFreitas on 2/6/2012 @ 12:23pm
I agree with you @fredo. The City shouldn't be the one giving all the advice but a business-to-business mentor program would be a fantastic way to connect experienced business leaders to newbies and further tighten the bonds that hold our businesses together.

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 12:24pm
Kevin: Thanks

RR: Fresh Market already had done market research for their business plan aka "Ghetto Mart":

Target Market - drug dealers, low income residents, smokers, drinkers, junk food diet specialists

Target Storefront Appearance – Convey Anonymity. Extra credit for bars on the windows so losers are welcome but encouraged to wait until after hours to rob the joint

Target Products – “Mediterranean food” – translation - hostess twinkies, $29.95 cans of cat food, and rose glass vases easily converted to crack pipes.

alcohol – and losts of it
did I mention alcohol – more of it

RR: I refuse to PASS GO and collect a free chit to go off on Fredo on this blog

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 12:35pm
I agree that the city has terrible business sense and that is the true heart of the problem.

The council should have business savvy members. The council does not reflect a forward looking body. They are mostly local people who are caught up in local politics and their own personal agendas.

Until the council includes strong business leaders,the city should get rid of the bloated Economic Development Department.

Tacoma needs to either get completely out of business dealings or get people with experience and the balls to execute forward thinking policy

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 12:57pm
My personal opinion is Brumhilda never had a chance after her parents named her.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 12:57pm
nadering nabobs of negativity. I think the convention center is going to pay off big time! like the Murano dipper!

by fredo on 2/6/2012 @ 1:00pm
Mentor program is OK but we can't require this. Otherwise, unusual, but potential lucrative, business plans will be cast aside.

Also if we require mentoring and the business follows the mentors advice the the business ultimately fails the entreprenuer could make a claim against the city.

by NineInchNachos on 2/6/2012 @ 1:00pm
those barred windows and doors will work nicely for a spaceworks display of Never Never land figures. Never never land goes to GTMO!

by fredo on 2/6/2012 @ 1:05pm
My personal opinion is Brumhilda never had a chance after her parents named her." scout

A city with a successful restaurant called STINK shouldn't have any trouble supporting a business called Brumhilda's

by scout on 2/6/2012 @ 1:07pm
Good point Fredo, especially since one of the owners of STINK cut her business teeth in her formerly successful wine bar - Vin Grotto - in my building!

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/6/2012 @ 10:11pm
I soviet Fredopia, poorly named business patronizes YOU!

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/6/2012 @ 11:45pm
Folks, this fortified vacant storefront in which the former proprietor anxiously installed wrought iron bars is all the evidence anyone needs: Walmart has infiltrated Tacoma with terminator agents.


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