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DTLA grocer says incoming Whole Foods shows the 'economy has turned a corner'

By Hayley Fox
Published: Friday, August 16, 2013, at 03:05PM
Hayley Fox/blogdowntown

Urban Radish is having its grand opening party this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. The specialty market soft-opened about a month ago.

Arts District market Urban Radish is hosting their grand opening this weekend, offering free samples of some of their organic, grass-fed, local products.

These goods don't come cheap, but that doesn't seem to be a deterrent. In an email to Blogdowntown, Urban Radish owner Carolyn Paxton wrote that since the soft-opening last month, most customers opted for the more expensive goods.

"We were surprised to find that people want more organics, more grass-fed; and that when people are given the choice to taste and purchase a pricier, locally grown, organic piece of fruit, versus the less expensive conventionally grown option, customers almost always choose the more expensive (one) to buy," she wrote.

Which bodes well for the incoming Whole Foods, slated for just the other side of Downtown. Earlier this month, the natural foods chain announced they'd be opening a 42,000 square-foot store on Grand Avenue. The location is expected to open in 2015.

“We've been looking for the right space for close to 10 years as we know that access to natural and organic foods in this neighborhood has been challenging," said Patrick Bradley, president of Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Region, in a statement.

As of now, Downtown's grocery options are fairly limited, with residents relying on Ralphs (and now possibly Urban Radish), for their local marketing needs. Paxton wrote that she wasn't surprised by the news about Whole Foods.

"Many of the grocery chains have been watching the development of the downtown area and as a resident, I have seen our neighborhood turn into a food-centric destination," Paxton wrote. "The addition of Wholefoods [sic] is evidence that the economy has turned a corner and that the residents living in Downtown Los Angeles are wanting higher quality, organic foods."

Urban Radish's grand opening party is Saturday at 9 a.m. It will include a free breakfast as well as speeches by area councilman José Huizar, Father Boyle of Homeboy Industries and Tyler Stonebreaker of Creative Space.

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