The Coming Death of One of Seattle's Few Black-Loved Supermarkets

Comments

1
Just 25 years? yawn
2
Typo. 5th para, 5th sentence, 6th word should be "black" instead of "white".

No worries Charles, keeping these adjectives in order is hard work.
3
Oops, I meant "white" instead of "black".
4
wasn't there a red apple on MLK north of catfish corner once upon a time?
5
@1:

That's how long the Promenade complex has been around, but I'm almost certain the Red Apple Market predates that at this location.
6
@4:

I think that was where the Grocery Mart is now on E Union & MLK.
7
Gentrification does not necessarily equal displacement. If the gentrification (raising the median income of the area through wealthy incoming residents) stems from replacing empty lots with new market-rate apartment buildings, displacement isn't happening even though gentrification is. We could, as a city, densify to attract more rich people without displacing poor people, but we'd have to constrain the market, and that's just not capitalism.
8
Nimby.
9
@3 harder than even you think, apparently :)
10
it's almost as if businesses that purchase property are allowed to do what they want with the property.
11
I love pigs feet. My mom used to cook it in a really good rage sauce, I wish I had gotten that recipe before she died.
12
The intersection of 23rd and Jackson was a wasteland back in the 80's. As I recall, it was just vacant lots - at least the east side of 23rd.
13
Welcome to my world. Think of all the different supermarkets there used to be in Seattle: QFC, Larry's, Safeway, Treadwell, etc. And all of them slightly different serving a different market/neighborhood. In Los Angeles, there used to be Alpha Beta, Hughes, Vons, Ralphs, Market Basket, Safeway, etc. Again, each with its own personality. Many grocers have disappeared. The remaining ones are all Kroger-owned or Safeway-Albertsons-owned, and they are all pretty much alike. You probably can't find pig's feet or chitterlings anywhere outside of the South short of a special order. In point of fact, many neighborhoods have lost their friendly, local grocer.
14
I don't understand this absolutism associated with the concept of gentrification. Here's Red Apple. Black people live nearby and shop there. There's not going to be a Red Apple soon. Black people disappear because there's no groceries? They aren't going to be allowed in any new establishments? No and no. So what is the actual issue?
15
#4 Do you mean the old Roger's Thriftway where the Grocery Outlet is now?
16
The world hasn't been the same since they closed the A&P store on my corner.
17
It's some type of profit-making scheme? I knew it!
18
@15: yeah, I guess that's what I meant. do they carry offal?
19
You can get all chicken and pig parts including feet, tendons, skin, intestines, blood etc. at Vietnamese grocery stores. Some sell the whole chicken, ungutted, with feet on.

What will happen to all the workers at Red Apple? That's a lot of jobs to lose. Vietwah moved out of their grocery space down at MLK and Graham, I think the space is still available (I could be wrong), can the Red Apple move there?
20
Why do you call Red Apple black?
Owned by blacks?
Only blacks allowed to shop?
"Black food" only sold there?

This fact-free article and stereotypes about black and whites is ugly.
21
I have shopped at this market for years. It does cater to alot of African Americans and I have found the quality of produce and meats to be poor with little organic options and the prices are higher than they should be. The Jackson Place neighborhood residents deserve better and I am looking forward to a new grocery option. Bring on a PCC, Central Coop, even a Whole Foods would better serve the community.
22
@21 PCC, Whole Foods etc. are much more expensive than Red Apple. They cater to a different clientele that can afford "organic" and "vegan" prices. They are everywhere now, you can go shop at any of them; shouldn't people who don't make as much money as you also have a place to buy food? I go to PCC because I don't eat meat, but I'm not getting paid minimum wage while not able to have guaranteed hours or a set schedule either!

Unfortunately, however, I'm sure Vulcan is about to make your wish come true.
23
Madison park is keeping its red apple. In America if you don't own your dirt, you are beholden to someone else. If our public housing system wanted to benefit those less well off, they'd adopt an owenship model. Instead, they spawn careers for bureaucrats and nonprofit workers.
24
I'll miss this place so much. But Saars Market in Rainier Beach has some similar offerings.
25
@22 People should considering shopping at Trader Joe's, which is close enough to the CD to be a viable shopping option too. Most of the quality of Whole Foods and their ilk but with prices that are cheaper than QFC and Safeway. And better labor practices too. They don't have everything under the sun, but can probably handle the vast majority of most people's needs.

Of course a neighborhood in Portland apparently rejected Trader Joe's for being a harbinger of doom of gentrification, which perhaps indicates that people think it's a rich white people's store.
26
@25 I love Trader Joe's, I didn't realize they had one in the CD.
27
Red Apple is pretty expensive (believe me, I shop at the Beacon Hill location every day). They've cleaned up their act in recent years, putting in better meat and produce, but they are pricey compared to QFC or Safeway. I go there because it is convenient, has a nice staff, and is a manageable size. It reminds me of grocery stores in Iowa when I was growing up.
28
Black and white people love Grocery Outlet.
29
A strongly worded letter is a good start but what are you going to do about it? If the grocery store is that important to you get out from behind your computer, organize and do something.
30
@27, I agree that most of the grocery stores tend to be too big. I used to like the Safeway in Wedgwood before they did the remodel a few years back. It used to be a manageable size and provided the basics. And at times that's all you need in a grocery store.
31
Gentrification is not an abstraction. It removes people from the social, familial, and economic networks that keep them whole. It also demolishes the places where those people can find each other again. The Red Apple is one of those places. That's why we've been working on this since before the Vulcan purchase: http://www.shelflifestories.com/
32
@19 about the workers: the KUOW story said "And so, it seems likely the grocer will leave sometime in the next year. The employees would move to another store, about a mile south."

If that goes through okay, is this really so bad? Business stays for 25 years, then moves a mile away, lots of well-loved businesses would kill to have so little churn.

Charles, what would you like to see here, a similar rental option preserved for them through the redevelopment? Indefinitely, or does it go to market rates later? I don't have ideological objections, but practically I think the business wants to go somewhere else while this site is torn up, and maybe they just want to move once not twice.
33
@24 Saar's is gone in Rainier Beach, has been for several months now.
34
Good riddance! This place has ridiculously high prices for the same crap, generic brands and products as any other grocery store. Their prices and produce section are just as pathetic as the people complaining about not having access to undesirable animal scraps/slave food that's still mindlessly desired, being consumed and referred to as traditional/culture, to say the least. Why so many poor people choose to shop here is confusing. I only shop here as a last option. More trader Joe's locations would be nice
35
@19 The former Viet Wah location on Graham has had a Filipino grocery store, the Island Pacific supermarket, open for quite some time.

What would be great is if Vulcan could make a place for a store like the Red Apple market in its development plans. Urban development isn't incompatible with a grocery store, as evidenced by the IGA downtown and the QFC on Capitol Hill ...
36
@35
Yes!
Vulcan should have stores for separate identities.
37
28/2CV: Black and white people love Grocery Outlet.

True. While black and blue people prefer Knocked Outlet.
38
I walk to the Red Apple 2 or 3 times a week. I'll be sorry to see it go. I don't understand the argument about making the place more pedestrian friendly. They want to fill in the parking lot—replacing it with housing units—to make that patch of land more... walkable? Huh?

I also don't understand how a PCC or Whole Foods would "better serve the community." Red Apple is too expensive, so you'd rather have a PCC or Whole Foods? Again: huh?
39
I agree with Comment 21...the Red Apple on 23rd and E. Jackson has relatively poor meat and produce departments, only about half the spices you need in the everyday kitchen cupboard, and the aisles are poorly marked. Most of those pig parts you can purchase by taking a short ride down E. Jackson St. on the bus to Chinatown. So let's not cry about losing this loser of a grocery store. Couldn't the neighborhood ask for a nice health PCC, or at least a QFC (with a gazillion food choices) instead? Wrong battle to be taking on, or taking time to discuss.
40
I live a block away and say hell no to Whole Foods. We need a cheap place to buy normal food, not just the best fried catfish around (which mysteriously no one has mentioned) but milk and eggs. I say Trader Joes would be a nice step up.
41
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