May 23, 2009 in Business

Fresh Abundance closes South Hill grocery store

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Background

The Hendrixes launched Fresh Abundance in 2003 to raise money for nonprofit group PEACH – People for Environmental Action and Community Health. The Hendrixes and others started that group 10 years ago.

Fresh Abundance remains a for-profit operation, but to date it has not been profitable, BrightSpirit Hendrix said. She said expenses in 2008 came to about $1 million.

A small South Hill store operated by Fresh Abundance closed this week to allow the fresh and organic foods grocer to focus on two other locations, said BrightSpirit Hendrix, the company’s president.

Hendrix and her husband, Jacque Hendrix, launched the first of three food centers six years ago. Their location in a South Hill residence started as a place for neighborhood home delivery of fresh food. As demand grew, Fresh Abundance opened a storefront. The couple closed it Monday.

Hendrix said the operation at 1001 W. 25th was never intended to be a grocery store, and customers told them that the experience was less than satisfying. Over the past few months they lost money trying to keep it open, she added.

“We would never have picked that location for a grocery store,” she said. With the change in the economy, sales “just fell off the cliff,” she said.

“We realized it was draining the entire project and we needed to focus our energy on what’s really working,” she said.

Fresh Abundance has 10 workers and still operates a grocery at 2015 N. Division and a farmers market store at 3324 S. Best Road in Spokane Valley.

“We feel fortunate to still be alive” as a business in a tight economy, she said.

Dairy and produce are the largest volume items the company sells. Fresh Abundance sells organic produce and fresh food produced locally and food items from growers across the country.

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