Friday, November 22, 2013

Where Do We Fit In?

The opening of the new Harris Teeter on Ninth Street (Durham) left me kind of wistful: as happy as I am that our products are in a new store, we hear every day from customers who remember when Ninth Street Bakery was on Ninth Street and about how our cafe (now the site of Elmo's) was "the place" to go.

The other reason I felt a grain of sentiment is that the Harris Teeter is literally in my backyard (I live in Old West), and as much as I am in favor of economic development, it feels like a megacorp (complete with hundreds of parking spaces) just landed in what had been a neighborhood-friendly commercial zone.

Which left me with the question: where does Ninth Street Bakery fit in in this world of superchains (a Panera Bread is also moving into the same supercenter and a Starbucks is in the HT lobby)?  We are bigger than a boutique (like Monuts), and smaller than a megacorporation.  We actually sell a lot of our wholesale bread through major retailers like Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.  But at the same time we are trying to keep our ethos of small footprint, ethical practices, scratch methods, and independent ownership.

So this Thanksgiving, give your local small retailer some shine.  As we continue to grow our operation in new directions (e.g. kombucha, internet retailing, gluten-free, vegan), we thank you for your continued support and hope that Ninth Street can give back to the community everything and more that you desire and expect.

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