Tag Archives: comments

Trader Joe’s? It’s going to be a while

Trader Joe's logoA recent Los Angeles Times interview with Trader Joe’s founder, Joe Coulombe, referred to the popular retailer “a lifestyle feature.” It’s one that folks in metro Birmingham are desperately trying to land.

The interviewer asked about the online battle taking place here in Alabama about where to put a Trader Joe’s. The response has sparked some debate:

There’s a Facebook battle in Alabama to get a Trader Joe’s. It’s become like landing an NFL franchise.

I had that in California. Claremont was especially noisy, but unless you have enough well-educated people, Trader Joe’s will not work. Claremont had well-educated people, but not enough. They have one [there] now.

Another interesting point brought up by Coulombe was how the salaries were determined for the original stores; it was based off of the median family income – a practice that is still followed by the company (which is now owned by a trust created by the owners of the Aldi grocery store chain).

If Trader Joe’s were to put a location in the state of Alabama and they followed the median family income policy, based on 2009 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average employee for the chain could potentially make $39,980/year, plus benefits.

This would all be great – if Trader Joe’s had plans to move into metro Birmingham in the near future. According to a Birmingham News article written last month, it’s not in the cards (at least not for the next couple of years). That’s even with three different efforts taking place on Facebook trying to get them to consider a location in Birmingham or Hoover. Then there’s the one we wrote about back in March 2009 – they’ve now got close to 1,500 members.

What are we building in Birmingham?

One of the people who spoke at last week’s launch event for the Birmingham Business Alliance was Birmingham’s mayor, Larry Langford. Among other things, he announced plans for tomorrow’s groundbreaking for the BJCC’s multipurpose facility (a.k.a. dome) and other progress on projects throughout The Magic City.

As people begin to talk about the feasibility of the dome and other projects, they may want to take a look at this story published by The Next American City about whether or not a city should take the leap into convention center expansion.

Follow-up: Johnny Ray’s president joins the conversation

We’ve seen a great deal of traffic over the last few days with regard to our post about the future of Johnny Ray’s. We’re hoping that some of you have had a chance to read the comments. If not, you’ve missed out on something…

One person who we were happy to see respond to the comments was Alton Shields, the President and Managing Director of the Johnny Ray Cos, who was able to quiet rumors that the chain was closing.

We just wanted to take a moment and suggest that folks check out his comments and all of the other comments to all of the other posts on the site whenever and wherever they’re made.

Thanks those that do add their voices to this conversation.

What are you dreaming for Birmingham?

It's time to imagine Birmingham's future...We already told you about today’s Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham annual meeting a couple of week’s ago.

Today, I had the privilege of writing this post for the foundation’s Imagine blog. I’d ask you to check out the post, learn why the green bracelet that you see here is significant and then share your dream for The Magic City and the surrounding region either by clicking here to comment on the post over there or putting your answer over on Magic City Question.

I’d ask that you share your comments even after today’s events are over.

UPDATE: The Mayor speaks at the ONB Breakfast Briefing

This morning Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford speaks to a crowded room at the Harbert Center to review progress on various projects taking place in the City. He has already spoken about the loss of common sense in the city as well as the city’s new 3D map, focused on Birmingham’s City Center. There has also been a presentation of the DVD created to make the case for the funding of the Birmingham Zoo’s expansion.

Take the jump and follow along: Continue reading

Langford criticizes the media

bjcc_larry_langford_0028Mayor Larry Langford made an appearance at The University of Alabama on Monday evening only two hours after having surgery and proceeded to offer very candid comments about the media, politics and race both regionally and nationally. While The Birmingham News‘ account in Tuesday’s paper provided an overview of the event, the account provided by The Crimson White‘s senior reporter shows that the former Fox 6 television reporter did not mince his words.

The presentation, Race, Politics and the Media in the Age of Obama, was hosted by the Capstone Association of Black Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Photo: Bob Farley/f8Photo

Earth Day plans?

BTW – how about letting us know what your plans are for Earth Day over on Magic City Question?

Just wondering…