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Sterling Farms grocery, co-owned by Wendell Pierce, closes after just one year
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune ^ | May 01, 2014 | Jed Lipinski

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: moochelle; obama
I just hope we did not lose too much tax payer money there.


1 posted on 05/03/2014 12:16:27 PM PDT by BBell
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To: BBell

A healthy food store for low-income people.

Where’s the face palm pic?


2 posted on 05/03/2014 12:27:19 PM PDT by lurk
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To: lurk
Literally sounds like a “Let them eat cake idea.”

“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.”

3 posted on 05/03/2014 12:31:24 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: BBell

Probably not as much as Solyndra or Fiskar but you can bet there is a sizable dent in our account.


4 posted on 05/03/2014 12:33:58 PM PDT by rhubarbk (It's official, I'm suffering from Obama fatigue!)
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To: BBell

I love it when leftists, who have all these great ideas for how businesses should be run, finally actually try RUNNING a business.


5 posted on 05/03/2014 12:35:33 PM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: BBell

“Under New Management”
I hope to see one like that on the Senate and
presidency too.


6 posted on 05/03/2014 12:36:52 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: BBell

7 posted on 05/03/2014 12:38:05 PM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: BBell

I guess the chocolate city doesn’t like healthy food.


8 posted on 05/03/2014 12:40:55 PM PDT by Veggie Todd (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. TJ)
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To: BBell
And now it becomes obvious to even a stupid lib, that the reason why local groceries were not stocking "healthy foods" was because

the locals don't want to buy "healthy" food

To an intelligent supermarket owner, when you stock fresh veggies and see them rot, unsold, you stop stocking them.
9 posted on 05/03/2014 12:43:31 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: BBell

10 posted on 05/03/2014 12:45:06 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: BBell

Substance will out over PR and hype any old time......


11 posted on 05/03/2014 12:46:29 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: PapaBear3625

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.


12 posted on 05/03/2014 1:07:16 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: PapaBear3625
Healthy food? How can you get anymore healthier than a Shrimp Po-Boy


13 posted on 05/03/2014 1:14:37 PM PDT by BBell (The Blue Dog is Stupid)
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To: 21twelve
sounds like a "let them eat cake idea"

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.

14 posted on 05/03/2014 1:16:01 PM PDT by grania
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To: Oberon
I love it when leftists, who have all these great ideas for how businesses should be run, finally actually try RUNNING a business.

You do realize that the only reason it failed is because of racism, right? </sarcasm>

15 posted on 05/03/2014 1:20:10 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: Grams A

“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.


16 posted on 05/03/2014 1:20:37 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: grania

“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.


17 posted on 05/03/2014 1:30:06 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: 21twelve

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.


18 posted on 05/03/2014 1:33:53 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: 21twelve
We're agreeing. The store I referred to does not have the organic kale and other nonsense, but has good bargains on basic items. They also do a good job finding nearby producers to keep costs down. And they don't keep a lot of fresh foods and meats out, so they cut down on waste.

I suspect that this Michelle approved store went in there and wanted to be trendy. Economically challenged people can afford healthy, not trendy.

19 posted on 05/03/2014 1:34:23 PM PDT by grania
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To: LostInBayport

The store’s logo looks like an Obama logo...


20 posted on 05/03/2014 1:45:12 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: lurk

A couple of years ago, there was a snarky news story about Panerra Breads only opening stores in wealthy neighborhoods. LOL!


21 posted on 05/03/2014 1:49:01 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: lurk

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.


22 posted on 05/03/2014 1:49:15 PM PDT by x
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To: BBell
Seems "Sterling Farms" got tarnished!!
23 posted on 05/03/2014 2:00:39 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: BBell
"Somebody didn't really know what they were doing when they put that store together."

Or was it: "Somebody really didn't know what they were doing when they put that store together."

24 posted on 05/03/2014 2:02:56 PM PDT by oldbrowser (This looks like a make it or break it point for America.)
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To: Intolerant in NJ

Except at election time...


25 posted on 05/03/2014 2:12:12 PM PDT by karnage
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To: ExCTCitizen

It does. That alone would put me off from shopping there!


26 posted on 05/03/2014 2:20:53 PM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: BBell

Hmmm. I wonder if Trader Joe’s would consider opening there.


27 posted on 05/03/2014 2:30:02 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: rabidralph
Panera Breads

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!

28 posted on 05/03/2014 2:42:29 PM PDT by grania
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To: Grams A

“Well, I guess we won’t 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.


29 posted on 05/03/2014 2:56:47 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: PapaBear3625

“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.


30 posted on 05/03/2014 2:57:00 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: PapaBear3625

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.


31 posted on 05/03/2014 3:04:29 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont
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.

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.

32 posted on 05/03/2014 3:46:33 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: rhubarbk
Probably not as much as Solyndra or Fiskar but you can bet there is a sizable dent in our account.

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.

33 posted on 05/03/2014 4:13:15 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Grams A

“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.

Salt, We Misjudged You
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?_r=0

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2891182/posts?q=1&;page=1


34 posted on 05/03/2014 4:22:37 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Want to keep your doctor? Remove your Democrat Senator.)
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To: BBell

Fresh food costs more because of the spoilage.


35 posted on 05/03/2014 4:54:37 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: Reeses

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.


36 posted on 05/03/2014 5:34:26 PM PDT by BBell (The Blue Dog is Stupid)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Thanks for the link to the article.


37 posted on 05/03/2014 6:11:21 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Grams A
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.

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.

38 posted on 05/03/2014 6:17:39 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: PapaBear3625
In the "inner cities", we're dealing with women who are NOT at work all day.

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.

39 posted on 05/03/2014 6:22:04 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: Oberon

“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”


40 posted on 05/03/2014 6:24:26 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: Rebelbase
I especially liked this piece that mentioned George McGovern and the Stratford Inn.
41 posted on 05/03/2014 7:02:20 PM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

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.


42 posted on 05/03/2014 7:15:58 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Grams A
Glad I can help. As for the supplier I would agree with you but they are probably making up for it in some other area but they have a contract to provide a certain amount "fresh".

When it come to fruits and veggies you are better off buying frozen if possible.

43 posted on 05/03/2014 7:47:26 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: karnage

Sad to say, you’re right.....


44 posted on 05/03/2014 8:46:49 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: BBell

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.


45 posted on 05/04/2014 7:52:00 PM PDT by Bogey78O (We had a good run. Coulda been great still.)
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