Gourmet for All?


Your baked goods = my Zillow value?

As we welcomed La Farine's second location into the Dimond district this past Friday, my mind fell back into contemplating how change affects the dynamics of a neighborhood. Since we moved to the area last year, we've seen the addition of Farmer Joe's and now Peet's Coffee followed by La Farine.

The Fruitvale Ave. storefront is next to a Subway which sits next to a China Gourmet. Peet's coffee is the end of the block of storefronts. Across the street is Dimond Bakery- which focuses more on doughnuts, coffee and a place for the locals to hang out.
Dimond Bakery redid the interior of their store earlier this year so it's a bit more inviting. They also created a huge banner to tell the world their doughnuts are cooked in 0 grams of trans fat.

I'm curious about the dynamic Peet's and La Farine will create. Will it pressure businesses I'd like to see go away by attracting different clientele?
For $1.50 more than the price of a single croissant, you can get an entire meal at China Gourmet. For almost a dollar more than that, you can get a pastry and fancy coffee drink at Peet's (fans sitting outside Peet's raise their paper cups in toast to my photo here). How do urban communities that cater to as many different socio-economic levels as our does fare in the long term?
Around the corner and closer to MacArthur there are open storefronts waiting for new businesses to come in. What kinds will be attracted?

One of the things I love about our neighborhood is that there is such diversity moving through the Fruitvale/MacArthur intersection. I want that diversity, but I also want McDonald's to go bye bye.
I found some encouraging news that's happening in the west that could possibly keep our neighborhood diverse and yet not drive anyone away. There is a new cafe chain called One World Cafe that started in Salt Lake City. It helped start another in Denver called SAME (So All May Eat). Both are based on a "pay what you can model." The idea is to not let price be the barrier to anyone having a delicious and healthy meal. Those who can pay more are encouraged to drop a little extra to help offset meals for those who cannot pay as much. In Salt Lake, diners can also choose to have smaller portion sizes.
Wouldn't it be SO cool to have this business come take over the old Blockbuster site behind the Bank of America along MacArthur? Would our community rise to the occasion if we had a place to eat like this in our neighborhood? Would they be honest?
In related news, the $286billion farm bill now in front of the U.S. Senate is just something else that threatens to keep hybridized visions like One World Cafe's on the sidelines.
Here's what you can do if you're sick of contacting the legislators:
- Sign up to be part of a CSA. In our box this week, we got sugar plums, Russian kale, Flamingo peppers, acorn squash, tomatoes and more.
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