Dear Tidal Creek Owners, Friends, and Wilmington Community,
By now you are aware that our current location Tidal Creek Co-op at Oleander Drive is proving to be unsustainable. In order to stay an integral part of the Wilmington food community, we are considering relocation to the greater downtown area.
You can read more about why we are considering downtown in this blog post from March.
Our mission is to serve and connect our community through a thriving cooperative food business. We want to be able to continue to do this for many years to come, but are faced with the following very real concerns:
- Location & Competition
There are now fifteen grocers (including Whole Foods and Trader JoeÕs) within four miles of our current location. Our actual building location and access are less than ideal as well: our lot lies perpendicular to the road, and turning in and out from Oleander drive can be challenging. These are two very undesirable attributes for any retail business.
- Loss of Parking and Greenspace
For the past several years we have been leasing additional space from UNCW, the former Cinema 6 property, for parking and greenspace including our deck. This property has recently sold and as a result, our tenancy status will change.
As of December 31st of this year we lose legal rights to the greenspace across from the co-op entrance where our deck resides, as well as rights to the parking lot across the walkway. As parking is one of the biggest weaknesses of our current property, the loss of this additional parking and deck space will be very challenging.
- Decline in Sales
Over the last 3 years, we have lost millions of dollars in sales and ownership continues to decline. The below graph illustrates the downward trend. To put it plainly, the co-op cannot thrive under these conditions.
Given the above conditions and after months of exhaustive research and debate, a move to downtown seems to represent our most compelling alternative.
Despite being a disappointment for some who wish to see us remain at Oleander, we have had an overwhelmingly positive response from the community, the community leaders we have connected with, and most importantly, the ownership of Tidal Creek.
The Board of Directors has been working diligently to put together a presentation for the City of Wilmington in the hopes of forging a partnership. Downtown needs more food options, and we need downtown. We will keep you updated on any progress we make on this front.
How you can help:
- Continue shopping with us!
We need you now more than ever. Come by to pick up your groceries, produce, or supplements, and eat a meal in the caf (we serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to smoothies and juices all day long!)
- Renew your Ownership
Your yearly patronage makes you an owner of a cooperatively owned business. Your shopping and ownership dollars support local businesses, local farms, and local non-profits in a very tangible way.
- Get in the conversation!
Reply to this blog post with your thoughts and questions, and join our online Facebook group to let us know how we can be the co-op this community needs.
Truth be told, we really need you, our owners right now. While this change will be hard, we feel entirely confident that this new chapter is actually an exciting opportunity. Together we can redefine what our co-op is and how we serve this awesome community, we just need your support to do it.
Ryanna Battiste, Board President and the Tidal Creek Board of Directors:
Justin Murphy, Vice President; Kelsey Gibbs, Secretary; Evan Folds, Treasurer; Matt Colloghan; Danielle Richardet; Ed Pickett; Bruce Hannan; Katie Berry