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Seaboard Station


orulz

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I got an advertisement in the mail today for Cap. City Grocery with some coupons. Maybe that will help out a little in picking up foot traffic. I live just around the corner, but haven't been there yet. I don't really have the need to go grocery shopping since me and the bf eat out a lot, but I do plan on going there when I do need to pick up some things.

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Another e-mail went out to the Mordecai listserv today- sounds like the danger of this store's closing is real.

"So to save this venture, it would be wonderful if you all could:

1) Attend the Open House on Saturday, November 18, between 9:00 and 5:00 PM. Try the free samples and free tastings.

2) Email [email protected] TODAY with your name and, in the body of the email, your email address! Owner Ron Bold can update you with weekly specials. He will store your name in a database which will NOT be released to any other party, but will be used as the basis for a customer loyalty program in the future. Also, mention if you did NOT receive a promotional postcard in the last few days. You will receive some VERY attractive coupons in return.

3) If you happen to work in any state or downtown office, consider how you might be able to pass on the contents of this email or post something on a notice board -- like info about that Open House in 1) above.

3) Check out www.capitalcitygrocery.com. The site may still be under construction but it will soon be fully operational.

I believe if we act together and fast we surrounding downtown neighborhoods, may be able to save this ship."

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This store opened up shop in an area that's clearly still (re)developing, haven't turned a profit over JUST the first month or two of busines, and they're already fixing to bail? That would seem premature to me.

I don't think it's their choice. They need loans to cover them until they turn a profit, and they need business to prove to lenders that they are worthy of the investment.

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a good business plan would have contingency to cover the start-up period including losses for some time. If I were writing the plan and bringing it to a bank I would show capital reserves, either my own of the banks, that would cover expenses for 6 months or losses or so while the customer base builds up.

Edited by Jones133
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I haven't seen any advertising anywhere for this place. That may help a bit.

Yeah, I've mentioned the place to a few people. A couple of them even lived in the DT area, and most didn't even know it existed.

I've been in 3 or 4 times and am happy w/ the place. They did a pretty good job of deciding what to carry, given the limited space/budget.

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a good business plan would have contingency to cover the start-up period including losses for some time. If I were writing the plan and bringing it to a bank I would show capital reserves, either my own of the banks, that would cover expenses for 6 months or losses or so while the customer base builds up.

I wouldn't be surprised if the wholesaler they are working with provided all or part of the loan. Expenses can pile-up quickly in a grocery store. There are so many perishable items that must be trashed if they do not sell within a few days time. All of this on top of the fixed expenses of rent, utilities, insurance, etc.

I stopped by there the other day with my wife and left feeling bad for them. I think there are several problems with this store. The first being its hidden location. Second, the downtown market is not fully developed yet. The product offering is too limited. Lets face it...how many times will you go there to shop if you can't find what you are looking for? The produce department was really small. They invested a huge amount into wine inventory. I think too much. There is a wine store just across the way from them. Maybe they should have downsized that department and invested in more grocery and produce variety. This store has to find its niche.

I wish them the best of luck. It will be hard to get another loan if they can't correct the current woes. It is easier for a chain to sink money into a failing operation to turn it around than it is for an independant.

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I went in for the third time this morning. I wanted to buy a lot more things than I left with.

I noticed they stopped carrying 1% milk. Even though they have shelf space for two brands -- Pet and something else -- they only had whole, 2% and skim. I got 2% even though for me it is still "heavy" and skim milk is too close to water.

The cookie selection was quite weak -- oreoes, chips ahoy, and a couple other choices. A four foot space of shelving. I noticed Little Debbies on the way out, but they only carry single packages and boxes of Oatmeal Cream Pies.

The frozen dinner section was lacking as well. It is dominated by Stoffers' orange box and Lean Cuisine, with another section of Amy's orgaincs, some Hot Pockets, some pizzas, and not much else.

The snacks seemed lacking as well. They had a couple of hard granola bars, but no quaker or nutri-grain bars, which was one of the things I wanted to get. They were also out of cinimon apple sauce single serve cups, though I know I should buy the large jar and washable containers.

I was the only customer, other than someone getting a cup of coffee from Logans. Two other customers were leaving as I was going in.

I have received one "weekly special" flyer in the mail with the other supermarket stuff, but that's it. I hope this saturday goes well, and will try to get there and encourage other neighbors to go too.

Not sure why their wine selection is so large with Seabord Wine directly across the parking lot.

In other new, it looks like J. Betski's is open! There were table settings on every table, and an employee sitting at a table when I went by around 9:30.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the wholesaler they are working with provided all or part of the loan.

I can say their wholesaler HAS NOT provided any money or incentives to this location, that is not a good way for the wholesaler to do business. Other wholesalers used to give money pretty freely to lock independants into buying from them for a time period, however they are now bankrupt and out of business.

Edited by suburban george3
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I went on Saturday and there seemed to be a lot of people checking things out, but few actually buying groceries. They had two people manning checkout lines, but they were bored for the most part.

Someone complained about the lack of a shopping basket collector in the parking lot. There are two ramps, but those could be inconvenient for someone trying to get in and out. I've never bought enough items that I couldn't just carry out, so I never noticed this before.

I hope they can make a go of things, but I hope this *doesn't* discourage a downtown grocery store if it does not succeed.

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Thats sad, I REALLY hope that this doesn't discourage other business people/grocery store owners from opening downtown, because they did do MANY MANY MANY things wrong. It is a sinking ship, but its very hard for it not to when there are holes in the bottom such as no advertising, lack of space, and no major road sign. Another thing that is hindering it is that seaboard station isnt finished yet! They still have a LOT of buildings to renovate which would mean more customers going there. AND ANOTHER THING, half of the new downtown projects haven't even built yet, so the customer base isnt maximized.

It seems like there is nothing they did right here. What a shame. I hope other store owners realize that.

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i do support the store and would like to see it survive, but from the moment i heard about what they would offer and their setup, i had a bad feeling about it. really just sounds like another upscale grocery store. is the cafe really needed?? its also a little on the edge of downtown and not near all the proposed the proposed towers with residential, a gooooood walk from fayetteville st, moore square and glenwood, even more of a challenge walking back with grocery bags.

i think it is just too over the top. i truely believe that a successful grocery store will open up on wilmington st, first. then over on glenwood somewhere. i can see a developer buying two (maybe a third?) of the spaces on there, combining the space and opening up a small, simple grocery store. When i think downtown grocery store, the first place that comes to mind is the place i used to "pick up a few things" when i stayed in key west. Fausto's is a great simple little store in a central location. i think the location has just made this place.

and yes i know key west and raleigh differ, but the concept is the same. i believe we need simple, like this (old pic, but similar today):

60s_exterior.jpg

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Glenwood residents are as close to the Cameron Village Fresh Market as to Capital City Grocery. What does CCG offer (other than a brighter store) to get existing Fresh Market (and Harris Teeter) shoppers to switch?

Convenience is mostly for Oakwood, Mordecai, Capitol Park, Pilot Mill, etc. Is that enough residents to support it? It looks like they might not be. 18 Seaboard hasn't had any problems attracting customers.

Fausto's looks like the Foodarama store (currently part of the Trailways/Greyhound bus depot) on the left side of South Blount as it merges into Hammond Road. Stores like that are still commonplace east of 95. The Piggly Wiggly in Five Points (now NOFO) seemed to do ok with just four or five tight aisles. But it had a lot of loyal customers, which takes years to cultivate. Maybe they should print T-shirts with their logo on the back so area residents could wear them as a sign of support *and* generate income for the store... I know I'd buy at least one!

In other Seaboard news, does anyone know how the other stores -- Monograms, Footlights, and Galatea -- are doing? Has anyone been to J Betski's yet? If they were open for lunch, I'd go this weekend, but since they are not, I'll hopefully try Big Easy and/or Yancy's.

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The N&O had an article today giving coverage to Capital City Grocery: http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/514105.html

On a side note, I stopped by again today (wasn't sure they were open when I saw the empty parking lot). As much as I talked earlier about things they need to expand on, I will give them some credit where it's due: They probably have one of the best coffee bean selections in town! Larry's Beans had flavors there that I didn't even know existed. ;)

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I went to Capital Grocery again last night and it was as busy as I've ever seen it, by far. There were two registers open w/ lines at each. Several people had full carts, not just a "pick up a few things" amount of items.

Although they were out of a few things I had hoped to purchase, they had also started carrying some items that weren't available on my last visit.

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Someone at Capital City Market needs to take a notepad over to Trader Joe's. They don't need two buck Chuck, although that wouldn't hurt -- the bottles on the display were snatched up and had to be restocked when I was there.

Even at 8 pm, the aisles were full, the registers were all busy, even with near empty shelves in some departments. The parking lot was probably as full as it ever was when Winn Dixie was in that location. At 8 pm, CCM closes up for the night.

TJ's has a built in fan base, but if CCM could show they aren't "just another grocery store," they could have a similar loyal following. There needs to be some kind of "spark" to get people talking about it the way people gushed over 18 Seaboard when it opened.

I hope the momentum stared by the open house a couple of weeks ago continues, as reported earlier this week.

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Yeah, seriously. I went to Trader Joe's the other night, it was about 8 o'clock, and that place was packed. Half of the shelves were empty. They must be making more in that location than they ever have before because its INSANE. Capital City Grocery needs to figure out what Trader Joe's is doing and copy it. Two things I can think of:

1) You can see the sign for trader joe's from major streets

2) They have a free sample counter with amazingly good stuff (when i went they were sampling sparkling grape juice,and sparkling cranberry juice, with gourmet cookies and tiramasu)

I think things are looking up for CCG, I took some of my friends there the other day ( i go to RCHS) and they were like "THIS PLACE IS SO CUTE BLAH BLAH BLAH"

Maybe it'll survive.

WHY DONT THEY HAVE A SIGN ON PEACE STREET!!?!?!?!?!?!

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