A 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.
Posted in Business, food
Tagged battle, Birmingham, comments, food, grocery, Hoover, Joe Coulombe, LA Times, location, Trader Joe's
The Birmingham Business Journal is reporting that the city of Homewood is providing $10.4 million in incentives to Colonial Properties Trust – $1.4 million for road improvements and $9 to help Trust potentially lure Target to their Colonial Brookwood Village development (located along Lakeshore Drive between Highways 31 and 280).
The $1.4 million had been previously brought before Homewood’s City Council earlier in September though no action had been taken at that time. Representatives for Target in a story filed by The Birmingham News mid-August stated that no plans had been announced for a location in Homewood, Another story filed during that period suggests that the discount retailer was being sought by Colonial.
It would definitely reduce travel time for those located in metro Birmingham’s core. There are Super Targets located in Hoover (as of this posting the country’s largest),Trussville, and along Highway 280 and “regular” locations in Fultondale and Bessemer. Using our offices as a starting point, it would reduce our drive to the closest Super Target (280) by 5 miles and to the Fultondale location by three.
It would also not be the first time that future plans for the development had been discussed including a period in late 2006 when it was believed that a Westin hotel would be built on the property; despite an announcement, plans never materialized.
Map: Courtesy of Target.com search function.
UPDATE: 7.14.2009 – The Birmingham News has now reported the story and has additional information.
Yes, it’s true – no longer do you have to travel down to Orlando to get your Lego fix. you won’t have to drive all the way to Charlotte either (since they’re getting one too). You’ll just have to go down the road to Hoover and the Riverchase Galleria…
Metro Birmingham is one of twelve U.S. locations announced for the building block’s stand alone stores to be opened in the near future. The store’s site is already up, allowing folks interested in specifics to keep track of the store’s progress. Now, if we can only score some Lego sets based on Birmingham landmarks, similar to the Frank Lloyd Wright series (or a relaunch of the Zack commercials)…
Photo: Lego bricks. Courtesy of The Lego Group.
Posted in Quirky
Tagged announcement, B'ham, Birmingham, building blocks, Galleria, Hoover, information, Lego, Lego store, location, locations, mall, opening, Quirky, Riverchase Galleria, U.S.
… and I do mean a push. Fans of Trader Joe’s in metro Birmingham are leading an effort to get the Monrovia, CA-based company to put a location here. They’ve created a Facebook group to hopefully get the attention of the privately held business. The group is starting to grow – it’s sitting at 129 members as this post is written, with folks in the group leaning towards the store’s placement on the city’s east side, particularly Woodlawn or Crestwood. One of the distribution centers is in Atlanta, so apparently it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch… Plus it would give folks another option if they were able to buy gourmet beer after tomorrow’s vote.
If you’re interested, join the group or contact Trader Joe’s using their website’s email submission function.
Posted in Online
Tagged AL, Alabama, Birmingham, desire, Facebook, group, information, location, metro, push, store, Trader Joe's
UPDATE: 2.1.2010 - It’s finally opened – in Pelham, AL.
Remember that post back in August of 2007 when we linked to the BBJ’s story about Dunkin’ Donuts planning to open 72 metro Birmingham locations in the coming years. The market’s been open since early 2008 and this morning they finally took a step towards making it come true.
The Canton, MA-based company signed a multi-unit store development agreement with Birmingham-based RFS, LLC earlier today. The agreement calls for the development of 21 restaurants in the Birmingham market. RFS plans to open its first location in the next 12 months, fulfilling its agreement within the next 5 to 6 years. It will be the first time in years that the metro area has had a Dunkin’ Donuts location.
This isn’t to say you can’t get Dunkin’ Donuts in the state now – you’d just have to drive to Dothan (they got their first location last month).
Image: Dunkin Donuts logo courtesy of company website.
Posted in food
Tagged AL, Alabama, announcement, Birmingham, donuts, Dunkin Donuts, follow-up, food, franchisee, information, location, RFS
Driving down 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn away from downtown and looking off to your left just before you drive under I 20/59 will have you checking out the recently rebuilt McDonald’s (it’s been a while too since it re-opened, so don’t feel too bad if you didn’t notice it before).
What you may not have noticed was the signage on the building announcing that it would soon become one of the metro area locations for McDonald’s latest foray into staying relevant in the fast food world – McCafé. We’re not sure how many more locations are preparing to open in metro Birmingham, but just the fact that we’ve got one is pretty cool. If you do know of others, add their locations to the comments section.
Thanks to one of our readers for the heads up. Anyone interested in organic and locally raised meat and produce will be happy to know that Owls Hollow Farm will continue at Pepper Place in the parking lot through the winter – if they have enough participation to make it worth the drive. They’ll have hydroponic lettuces and other vegetables, and will also have local organic pork every other week (and soon, grass fed beef!). They’re asking people interested to sign up for their mailing list on the site and to fill out the account info.
They’re hopefully going to be able to have great stuff through the winter! After the jump, find the info about this weekend’s options (via email):