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.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 10:50 PM EST2013-12-11 03:50:14 GMT
An Orleans woman was arrested after her boss allegedly caught her siphoning cash from the register at the Jay Country Store where she worked. Police say it took 21-year-old Miranda Chaput less than a weekMore >>
An Orleans woman was arrested after her boss allegedly caught her siphoning cash from the register at the Jay Country Store where she worked.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 10:47 PM EST2013-12-11 03:47:29 GMT
Police say they've caught a University of Vermont student cashing in on prescription pills. 18-year-old Christian Devaul was arrested Monday after police say he was selling Xanax from his dorm room onMore >>
Police say they've caught a University of Vermont student cashing in on prescription pills.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:45 PM EST2013-12-11 00:45:37 GMT
"Today I am proud to launch Connect Vermont, an initiative to deliver by 2013 my promise of high-speed internet access and cell service to every corner of our state," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont,More >>
In a few weeks, Gov. Peter Shumlin will become the second Vermont governor to fall short on a pledge to bring cellphone and high-speed internet access to every Vermonter that wants it. What's the next step to connect the state? More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:00 PM EST2013-12-11 01:00:14 GMT
Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, has been re-elected as the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. The DGA held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Monday, where the governor was uncontestedMore >>
Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin has been re-elected as the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:48 PM EST2013-12-11 00:48:09 GMT
Vermonters who didn't pay ticket prices of up to $10,000 to hear New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak during an upcoming visit likely won't get to hear him via the media.More >>
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will make a stop in Vermont Wednesday to address nearly 700 Republican Party members. The Essex Jct. event is sold out, but there aren't any media outlets on the guest list. Melissa Howell explains why.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:51 PM EST2013-12-11 00:51:05 GMT
When Vermont received an F from the Center For Public Integrity for financial disclosure requirements for state Supreme Court justices, it didn't ruffle too many feathers. "We weren't surprised by theMore >>
Vermont was one of many states that received a failing grade for what is required for financial disclosure for state Supreme Court justices. Some civil rights organizations say it's just a small part of an even bigger problem for the state.More >>