For about five years, the natural food store in town has been busting its seams in the turn of the century market site it had occupied for fifteen years.
The last two years, we’ve watched the tired old Lucky Market (empty about six or seven years) lie fallow, with hundreds of bikers using the parking lot as the jumping off point for rides in town. Then, for the last two years, with an impressive crescendo these last three months, builders, diggers, glaziers swarmed the site. The interior looked so inviting. After six or more years of shuttered windows and empty aisles something new was coming.
Everyone seems to have an investment in the site. Even my neighbors who don’t shop locally will probably poke their nose i, because it looks like a ‘normal store’ as opposed to the soulfood shrine of alternative good eating it had always been.
In the first store, on Bolinas Avenue, there was no room for any size of shopping cart in the aisle, and I imagine plus-size shoppers had to turn sideways like I did because even my messynger bag was too wide a load to pass freely.
Then it moved to the quasi quonset Big Bear market building, and felt huge, for about a month or two. But the front door opened right into the busiest parking lot in Fairfax.
The new new store has no shop door/automobile interfaces–a massive improvement. And it even has two entrances, which is a first.
My immediate favorite feature is the vertical garden:
Today, a crowd of about five hundred eager souls crowded around to hear a couple of heartfelt speeches (with nods to Rachel Carson, whose writings inspired the store in the late 1960′s, and the Miwok who occupied the very site thousands of years ago–proof being in their rich middens unearthed during the laying of the pipes).
I saw them cut the ribbon. A cheer went up. It was very 1905.
No newspaper ads touted a sale. No sale prices inside–just about three times the room and three times the selection of impeccable edibles. I was astonished to see Nairn’s cakes from”Scoatland”.
The crowd was all people smiling.
I nominated this woman with the studded belt and rose bouquet to be Ms. Fairfax.
Outside, people gabbed and hugged.
Even the traffic crawled past, rubbernecking. I got a shot of someone’s bloodhound viewing it all from through the sunroof of a VW bug.
I sure love my town.
I’m filling out a job application, gonna work in the kitchen.