Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sunflower Looks Downtown -- They Read My Mind!

I have to admit, I've recently fallen in love with the Sunflower Market in Broad Ripple. I like their prices, they have just want I want (good produce, good fruit, awesome bulk granola, and good dairy), they're easy to get in and out of, and Broad Ripple is closer for me than, say, NORA. I usually slip in during the week for milk or coffee or whatever I need. Saturday was a different story with looky-lous, people standing in the aisles, parents letting little kids rummage in the bulk food bins, confused people trying to work the scales, and long, long checkout lines. (Although, strangely, there were no lines at any of the do-it-yourself checkouts which are amazingly easy to work. I breezed through.)

I was reaching for the soy milk where two guys were talking about how impressed they were with prices. "This milk is over $3 at O'Malia's. It's so much cheaper here!" We both lamented about how expensive O'Malia's downtown is and how huge a success a Sunflower Market downtown would be.

At least we're not the only downtowners crying for a grocery store. Today's IBJ reports the SuperValu team that opened the Broad Ripple market has been so happy with the success, they're looking at opening up to four more Indianapolis stores in the next two years. They haven't yet made their location decisions but "patrons have resoundingly asked [them] to consider downtown. " Managers worry there won't be enough people to shop there.

It only takes a planner to look at the sheer number of condos currently going in and planned for Fall Creek to 16th St., Meridian to College Ave and all the way down through Chatham Arch and Mass Ave to know if they build it, downtown residents will come. The Sunflower Market in Broad Ripple is the first in the country, but the chain is currently opening stores in Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.

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