Skip to comments.Sterling Farms grocery, co-owned by Wendell Pierce, closes after just one year
Posted on 05/03/2014 12:16:27 PM PDT by BBell
A year after opening with a media spotlight on actor and co-owner Wendell Pierce, followed four months later by a personal appearance by Michelle Obama, the Sterling Farms grocery store in Marrero is closing with far less fanfare and celebrity.
Best-known for his roles in the cable TV series "The Wire" and "Treme," Pierce drew attention to the grocery with talk of "emerging markets" and fresh produce, while Obama visited the store after making an address in New Orleans on nutrition and obesity. But one industry expert said the store faced problems from the very beginning.
"It was poorly executed, in my opinion," said David Livingston, a supermarket consultant in Wisconsin who visited the Sterling Farms store last year. "Somebody didn't really know what they were doing when they put that store together."
Located in a former Winn-Dixie store near the corner of Lapalco and Ames Boulevards, Sterling Farms was portrayed as a healthy food outlet for low-income shoppers. At its grand opening last March, Pierce and his partners, Troy Henry and James Hatchett, described it as the first of four locations they planned to open in various urban "food deserts."
One year later, however, the other full-scale grocery locations have yet to open, and the Marrero store has struggled to attract shoppers. Last month, according to a local supermarket analyst employed by Livingston, much of the store's inventory had been removed. A sign reading "Under New Management" recently appeared in the storefront window.
(Excerpt) Read more at nola.com ...
A healthy food store for low-income people.
Where’s the face palm pic?
“These poor people are so fat because they don't have healthy food options (food deserts). All they have is those cheap hot-dog joints and donut shops.”
Probably not as much as Solyndra or Fiskar but you can bet there is a sizable dent in our account.
I love it when leftists, who have all these great ideas for how businesses should be run, finally actually try RUNNING a business.
“Under New Management”
I hope to see one like that on the Senate and
I guess the chocolate city doesn’t like healthy food.
Substance will out over PR and hype any old time......
I’m sure that the libs would think they need to do a better job educating people about the need to make “healthy choices”. And, of course, this will take another government program.
A very, very small container of red raspberries at one of our local stores was $4.99. No one is buying them because of the cost and several in each container now have mold on them. Asked the produce manager about them and he said, “Well, we just end up throwing most of them away when they are this expensive”. Just looked at me with a strange glare when I asked if it wouldn’t be better to just sell them for less in the beginning so people would buy them rather than throw them away and not recoup any of their money.
It’s not that people don’t want to buy fresh fruit and veggies in our area, but when you, like me, have $50 a week to spend on groceries, you can’t spend 10 percent of it on one small item.
I also refuse to buy anything that says gluten free, reduced sodium, low fat, etc. Really cuts down on what is available. Wish they would leave my food alone.
It might've been. It's not fair to label all low-income people as disinterested in healthy food. The grocery store I go to is one with a large percentage of its customer base from challenged neighborhoods, many customers getting there by bus. The store does a good job stocking healthy food choices that aren't overpriced.
A lot of healthy food stores don't bother with that. I suspect the concept could succeed, if the store would be aware of the food preferences of its customers.
You do realize that the only reason it failed is because of racism, right? </sarcasm>
Well, we just end up throwing most of them away when they are this expensive.
I had this discussion with my kids at a young age. “Who determines the price of the stuff at the grocery store?”
Their answers included the manager, the owner, the lady at the checkout, the government, etc.
I then said something like “And what if they marked a candy bar at $100? Would you buy it?” With a a few more questions from me like that they figured out that it was they, the consumer, that set the prices. And then talked about supply and demand, etc.
“It’s not fair to label all low-income people as disinterested in healthy food.”
I was thinking more of the expensive organic stuff they have in the health-food stores. A $1.25 hotdog fills me up more than organic kale picked by virgins at $9 a pound.
My mom told how she would walk up to the local farm and get eggs and lettuce, some cheap beef at the market, and the green beans, tomatoes, etc. from our own garden. Although it seems that things are reversed today, with fresh produce costing way more than stuff in a can.
Good discussion to have with kids - and probably a lot of adults would benefit from it.
Last Halloween I was in Target with my grandson and he wanted to buy some Halloween stuff. Reminded him that we don’t buy anything Made in China. His response, “Well, I guess we won’t be buying much anywhere this year”. Lady standing next to him just laughed.
I suspect that this Michelle approved store went in there and wanted to be trendy. Economically challenged people can afford healthy, not trendy.
The store’s logo looks like an Obama logo...
A couple of years ago, there was a snarky news story about Panerra Breads only opening stores in wealthy neighborhoods. LOL!
It doesn’t sound like it really was a healthy food store. They had a lot of big talk, but in the end, the store didn’t amount to much of anything.
Or was it: "Somebody really didn't know what they were doing when they put that store together."
Except at election time...
It does. That alone would put me off from shopping there!
Hmmm. I wonder if Trader Joe’s would consider opening there.
They actually have some, but not all, healthy choices. Their prices are insane.
I can get a Panera full sized salad for $8, with chicken that roamed free before it got slaughtered. It has some other salad stuff. Add in a drink and it comes to $11.
Or I can go to McDonald's across the street and get a McChicken without the bread (with lettuce and mayo in a salad bowl), two packets of fresh apple slices and a senior coffee for $2.95.
What's my point....maybe those folks in wealthy neighborhoods aren't so smart after all!
Well, I guess we wont be buying much anywhere this year.
That’s funny! (Well, not really.) Years ago I tried to do that one Christmas with presents. It was REALLY hard to find anything that I could afford that was made in America.
“To an intelligent supermarket owner, when you stock fresh veggies and see them rot, unsold, you stop stocking them.”
And the same if you are the shopper.
Years ago I was living with some roommates. We all got along well and really had no arguments about groceries, cleaning, etc. (One fellow cleaned like the dickens, I loved him for that!)
Even though each person shopped for him or herself, I still noticed that each of us were always having these “good intentions” about food, but were not following through and eating the stuff, so it went in the trash.
Interestingly (to me anyway) I read a piece somewhere about a study that was done: people went and actually excavated a landfill to see what food items were most prevalent.
The results closely matched what I had observed. White bread got eaten, Rye and Whole Wheat got tossed. Fresh veggies - in the trash, canned/frozen veggies, in the belly, etc.
I’ve tried to incorporate these truths in my shopping ever since, while realizing how lucky I am to live in a place and time where I am very unlikely to ever go hungry.
Re: healthful foods
Veg prep requires time and energy, often in short supply after a long day at work and when you’re trying to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
Trader Joe’s sells bags of fresh (not frozen) peeled and chopped vegetables (assorted salads, green beans, cubed butternut squash) all ready to eat raw or cook immediately. Does stuff like that end up in the landfill?
As an aside: Potatoes and onions these days aren’t exactly cheap.
In the "inner cities", we're dealing with women who are NOT at work all day. They have time to do their nails, but not for cooking veggies.
The urban media isn't saying much but the city of New Orleans received $14 million in our confiscated earnings to hand out to grocery store ventures like this. White and Asian store owners need not apply.
“I also refuse to buy anything that says gluten free, reduced sodium, low fat, etc. “
Smart move. Large, long term studies have shown reduced sodium is dangerous to your health, especially if you have a heart condition.
Fresh food costs more because of the spoilage.
The odd thing about this is that New Orleans and the surrounding area is far from a “food desert”. On the contrary there are roadside stands and fresh produce markets everywhere, even in the not so good parts of town. You can grow produce year round down here. And the People down here love to eat.
Thanks for the link to the article.
His store probably does scan based trading, the supplier owns the product until it is scanned and sold.
So the wasted product does not have any bearing on his store bottom line.
Lowering the price and not doing it in conjunction with a supplier promotion would cost him.
Don't be so sure. Yes, there are a lot of people on strictly welfare but there are as many if not more that have jobs.
“I love it when leftists, who have all these great ideas for how businesses should be run, finally actually try RUNNING a business.”
They operate on a Field of Dreams mentality.
“If you build it they will come”
Thanks for the explanation. I understand why the store is doing it now from a business perspective but it still seems ridiculous to not lower the price and be able to sell something rather than not sell it and end up throwing it away. Surely the supplier has to be losing money.
Perhaps the supplier is betting on the market not being flooded and enough people will buy the product at the higher cost to make at least some profit for themselves. Just one of the reasons I wouldn’t want to own a business that deals in fresh fruit and produce products.
When it come to fruits and veggies you are better off buying frozen if possible.
Sad to say, you’re right.....
I grew up not that far from there. Drove by and noticed the sign up last week.
The new locals killed the area. They had lots of help from the feds though.