Thursday, January 03, 2013

More on the Earth Friends Cafe & Coffee Bar relocation from Grant Line to NuLu..

Previously at NAC: Earth Friends Cafe & Coffee Bar will have an outlet in NuLu.

What I like most about Stacie's greetings on the arrival of the New Year is the honesty and sincerity of her sentiments, without the usual corporate gobbeldygook. No Bob Evans press release, this.

We'll miss Earth Friends on Grant Line Road, and wish Stacie and the gang the very best in Louisville.


Earth Friends Cafe & Coffee Bar

Happy New Year! We would like to take this opportunity on the first day of a New Year to express extreme heartfelt gratitude to all of those who patronize Earth Friends Café. Despite our hard to find location, and along with the construction going on for most of our days on Grant Line, our business stayed alive – well enough to expand to a second location inside the New Albany Floyd County Public Library.

In the latter half of 2012 we started looking for a potential Louisville location with the intention to make it a third location. However, we soon discovered since we are not yet two years old, the support to get the financial backing for a third location was not possible. Yet, we had already found a location in Louisville we felt would be perfect for what we are doing, so we have made the very hard decision to move the Grant Line location to the NuLu district in Louisville.

The most heart wrenching part in all of this is the fact that we have an established clientele at Grant Line who – if it were not for them – we would not be where we are now. There is some comfort in the fact that we are not leaving New Albany all together – we still have the library location, which has become vaster with its menu and offerings. If you have not been, there is a full service espresso bar, Panini grill for hot sandwiches, daily soup offering, and the option for combos with sandwiches, soup and/or salad. Right now there are five tables, but we hope to propose an expansion in the near future to make more seating available. All of the EFC favorites are there including the Veggie Wrap, Mediterranean Tuna, Chicken Pesto Wrap; as well as many Vegan options.

Lastly, we ARE trying to sell the business in hopes that the location stays alive to serve consumers in the area. We get a lot of business from General Mills, IUS, and several surrounding businesses. The location could continue as an 11a-2p, Monday-Friday lunch spot for someone who wishes to have their own café – or own their own business. If you know of anyone looking to start their own café, or for more information on the sale, please contact me at the Grant Line location (812)725-9393. It will be for sale until Friday, January 18th.

Again, thanks for making Earth Friends a success. We are very excited to enter the Louisville market and focus on becoming even more pro-LOCAL and ORGANIC with our food and beverage choices. The new space is going to be amazing, including outdoor seating. (Not to mention our kitchen will be five times bigger!)
We will be in our space at Grant Line until the end of January.

Stacie Bale


Iamhoosier said...

From a devil's advocate point of view...

I'm having trouble reconciling praising one business that is abandoning a NA location for greener pastures in another city and scorn for another business that is opening in our city.

I'm not suggesting that Stacie, in this case, be scorned. Far from it. She deserves all the praise but from a general and local perspective, her NuLu location will add nothing to NA. People bitched(me included)when Wendys moved to what they thought was a greener pasture and left an empty store. They are still in NA, contributing to the tax base and employing people.

Repeat, I'm not looking for scorn for Earth Friends. It's just that I think the gulf between the deserved praise for them and the scorn for other business models is bit too wide.

The New Albanian said...

That's fair.

It points to my own ambivalence, and I admit it. I'm 100% for both Stacie and Ian. And at the same time, I hate that they left the hood.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

From a quality of intent and execution point of view, there's little actual comparison.

I disagree, too, that a NuLu location won't add to New Albany. As has been repeatedly explained, the benefits of localization go far beyond NA city limits. It's why we try to patronize local businesses in other cities when there. Unlike Wendy's or Bob Evans, those businesses are often why we go there in the first place.

As we function as part of the same metro, a stronger, more independent Louisville proper benefits New Albany and vice versa.

The Wendy's situation was different. They were specifically asking for exceptions to land use regulations put in place to protect the public while offering only another empty building in return-- no additional public or quality of life benefits at all. Had they initially chosen another location already approved for their type of development, the public would not have even been involved in questioning their move in any sort of official capacity.

Iamhoosier said...

I certainly realize that there are/were differences. Any scenario will have them. Maybe you didn't hear it, but there was plenty of bitching about the Wendy's move based on the premise of leaving an empty store. Greener pastures in both cases is still the same.

As for the metro area, I have no argument but I will need a lot of convincing that EF in NuLu vs NA is just as beneficial. I know that you didn't say "just as" but it is a net loss for NA and the main reason is, a business owner thinks that they can do better elsewhere. That's no different for local, independent owner vs a corporate owner.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

That very much depends on how you define "do better" and the scale and time frame of applying said definition.

Wendy's offered nothing "better" at a net loss to NA, the larger metro, and the planet. If EF's model thrives, we're all better off.

Iamhoosier said...

Wendy's moved because they thought that they would make more money over the long run. I could be wrong, but I bet that is Stacie's reasoning as well. Of course there are major differences in their business models but, bottom line, both businesses made their decision to relocate for the same reason.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Money isn't an end in and of itself. It's a tool. The motivations for wanting it and using it and the real world outcomes of doing so are very different in this case and many others. To suggest they're "the same reason" simply isn't accurate.

Daniel S said...

Yes Mark because if a chain wants money and a local biz owner also wants money the local biz owner is more justified. See Support Local Biz Refutes Volume 1, Chapter 3. Just wait your turn for the magical fairy dust of local biz profits to be spread on your doorstep and don't ask logical questions. It's all about money, and whether it's spent here or in Houston you're going to see about the same benefits from either. It should always be about the customer, not about the owner, and that's where this argument is fundamentally flawed.

Iamhoosier said...

It's the money. That is 100% accurate. Maybe EF has a higher purpose for their money but it's still the money. I never said the situations were equal, just that the gulf between praise and scorn was too wide.

I do believe that buying "local", in general, is preferable & economically more beneficial. Nothing that I've written today(or any other day)should color that. I didn't pay a small dues fee to NA 1st just because I have piles of spare money laying around. I just question the "amount" of benefit being touted at times.

Also, as everyone knows, I'm not a black and white guy. I don't buy into the chain, big, corporate, whatever is always bad and the little local guy is always good. How do I know my local ground beef retailer doesn't beat his wife and kids? Deals meth on the side? Countless people have had jobs, health benefits, college tuition, pensions, etc from the "biggies".

Daniel S said...

I think the primary myth, or at least distortion, is the "the money stays in your community" argument. Basically community means it stays with the biz owners, who may or may not spend that money locally. And even if they do, you'll likely only see a small portion of that anyway, and it's debatable whether the portion you receive is greater than that which would have been garnered through a chain. It's not like you're going to get a refund in the mail from the local government. You may get some more money for community projects, you may not.
I'm sure many local biz owners want to be a good part of the community and feel a sense of pride in it. Doesn't mean chain owners don't also feel a sense of pride in what they do. Neither side is one way or the other, as you said Mark. I support good business, not guilt trips or trends.

Iamhoosier said...

I think where a significant amount of money MAY stay local from a locally owned business vs out of town ownership, is in some ancillary services that the businesses may use.

Examples would be using a local printer for advertising materials, local accounting services, local legal services, etc. So some of the gross margin would stay local vs going back to the out of town owner to pay for such expenses.