Marti Webster has been shopping at Healthy Living for the past 30 years.
"The variety of things they have to offer; I come here for meals and local products," Webster said.
The South Burlington market and café offers a variety of organic and local products. Now the store might get a new neighbor and some competition-- national specialty food chain Trader Joe's. Right now there's no Trader Joe's in Vermont. The closest is in Hadley, Mass.
"I really enjoy shopping there," Webster said, "but it would not be a good idea to have it next door to Healthy Living."
Webster thinks it's too similar. But Healthy Living disagrees.
"We really have a different product mix," owner Katy Lesser said. "We're small and independently owned, we're flexible and nimble and able to get in products people ask for."
The proposed 20,000 square foot Trader Joe's building would be just north of Healthy Living, where Healthy Living currently holds its farmers market. The plan is under consideration by South Burlington's development review board. Right now it doesn't comply with all city ordinances. The chain is working on that.
"I can't really be worried, I need to focus here now today and do what I do," Lesser said.
"Vermont and Burlington is a desirable spot; people want to have it listed where they have stores," said Pat Burns of City Market.
At City Market in Burlington, the co-op has similar feelings about the possibility of a Trader Joe's. It says there's room for competition. Sales are up at City Market and expected to hit $32 million this year.
"It gives people more options," Burns said. "We have to look at it as another opportunity to sharpen our game."
Trader Joe's is known for featuring its own branded products, like inexpensive wine and crackers. And with nicknames like Wealthy Living and City Markup, some say good old-fashioned competition could be good for consumers. Besides store brand specific products, the number one difference between Trader Joe's and City Market is the produce department.
"They have some options, but compared to the variety we have it's not even a fifth of the size," Burns said.
"I'm just committed to learning from it and ever onward," Lesser said.
A possible chain store in the mix of local markets.
"Would I shop there? I don't know," Webster said.
City Market is still planning to open a second location on Pine Street. It's in the process of finding a realtor and space. Healthy Living will also open a second location this summer in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Monday, March 10 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:58:45 GMT
Vermont police and policy-makers are gathering Monday to discuss the problem of drugged driving.Under current Vermont law it's easier to convict a driver accused of being drunk behind the wheel than stoned.More >>
For those under the influence of drugs, there is no simple standard or field test like the common blood-alcohol content measure.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:39:37 GMT
Students at Dartmouth College say the school needs to do more to embrace diversity on campus. The group of students sent administrators what they call a "freedom budget," decrying racism, classism andMore >>
Students at Dartmouth College say the school needs to do more to embrace diversity on campus.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:30:05 GMT
A Plattsburgh man is facing a slew of charges in connection with a car accident last fall.The crash happened October 24th on Mason Street in Schuyler Falls. Investigators say 31-year-old Brad Rovito wasMore >>
A Plattsburgh man is facing a slew of charges in connection with a car accident last fall.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:22:31 GMT
For nearly four years family and friends of a murdered Northeast Kingdom woman have wondered if the culprits would ever be caught. Monday afternoon two of the three men accused of the crime -- will beMore >>
Richard Fletcher, 27, and his brother Keith Baird, 33, are scheduled to appear Monday afternoon at the Caledonia Superior Court in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:31:26 GMT
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Stories include getting your pet adjusted to a new baby, advice on keeping pets safe during golf season and Vermont's first Dog and Pony Show.More >>
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Editor Tim Hoehn visited the Morning Show to share a few of the cover stories that might interest pet lovers.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:26:50 GMT
A well-known Vermont judge has passed away.According to the Vermont Standard Judge Franklin Billings Jr., died Sunday morning. Billings was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960, quicklyMore >>
Franklin Billings Jr., an iconic political and judicial leader and the son of a former Vermont governor, has died at the Woodstock home where he was born. He was 91.More >>