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Mariah McKay

Dear Trader Joe's and Whole Foods:

As a vegetarian "progressive" pro-Spokane type that adored you during college in Portland, I *never* imagined I would say the following:


If you don't have enough faith to invest in the Spokane market, then don't let the door hit you on the backside on the way out! We're not going wait around pining after your absence while you crunch numbers at some board meeting half way across the country. We are already busy with creating a more sustainable, localized market solution. By the time Trader Joe's calculates it can make an immediate profit from Spokane, YOUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY WILL HAVE PASSED YOU BY!

I think its telling that the increasing cost of fuel is partly keeping you away. As we are located in a rich river valley next to the Palouse, we won't be holding our breath as those prices continue to rise!

We here in Spokane have a willful community of dedicated food activists and business people who have strong relationships with the consumers and producers in our area. Fresh Abundance has three mini-groceries now at strategic locations throughout the city, and has pioneered a successful produce delivery program on top of that. In addition to this, a state-of-the-art grocery cooperative called the Main Market is being developed in Downtown Spokane this fall.

Spokane is responsible for itself. We don't look to Seattle or to "The Board" to protect our best interests. We are proactive in pioneering a local business economy that is engaged and invested in changing the culture of our area for the better. Local business re-invests 75% more in the regional economy than you chain stores do, so while Dave and Chris (really nice and wonderful guys) might still beg for your money the next time around, don't act all shocked when your target market gives you the cold shoulder.


Mariah McKay
Formerly loyal customer.


Nice work Mariah. When I began reading your post I thought it was going to be letter begging Trader Joe's to come to Spokane. I'm glad that it wasn't. I still have some cherries that I picked from Greenbluff last week. They are delicious. How you like them cherries Trader Joe's?

Bart Mihailovich

Wonderfully articulated Mariah! Well done!
What Spokane needs is NOT the brand or the image that a Trader Joes would offer our cultural identity - but a better connectivity to the cultural identity that is already ingrown. We live in an agriculturally rich region, we should be forming a better relationship and co-dependency with the bountiful land around us. That is a far more sustainable approach


Yay! I've been thinking much the same thing myself. Let's do it our way, not import a model.


Mariah I love you!


Good points. I certainly can do without a Whole Paycheck, er I mean Foods. We already have an over-priced organic grocery store -- Huckleberries. Although I sure love the afforability and variety of Trader Joes. I guess I will have to continue to buy my phosphorus-free dishwasher detergent and two-buck chuck on my way back from PDX or SEA. I think I can survive.

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