Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Dunwoody Bakery is opening soon on Mt. Vernon at Jett Ferry

I ran into Jill the Owner of the Dunwoody Bakery who showed me around her new store location next to CVS near Dunwoody Club and she told me of her plans for a bakery / coffee shop at that location opening in maybe late September? She also informed me that the UPS Store (currently housed in the old Blockbuster building) would eventually be moving in next door and that her lease prohibited her from selling all chicken products including chicken soup.

Hummm, I wonder if there are plans in the works for the blockbuster site? I know no details, just sharing what I have been told.  That being said, I am really looking forward to seeing thriving businesses that the community is willing to support at that shopping center.


Gil H. said...

Excellent news. And what a great way to capitalize on the Starbucks void. Clearly the Landlord is keeping its options open.

Chip said...

Good news for that space that has had so many different clients over the years.

As to the Blockbuster/UPS building, clearly the landlord is trying to put the Chick-fil-A deal together, in spite of the zoning process...

Joe Seconder said...

Too bad the bakery didn't move into the old Blockbuster location. They'd had great visibility from Mt Vernon. I heard through the grapevine that Starbucks had also looked into getting into that space, as well. How about a bicycle shop? There's none in Dunwoody. Or a mini Alons-type gourmet bakery + food, etc. Or how about a mini-Parish Market (in Inman Park. In the back of their shop they have a "Market" a cross between a sandwich shop, coffee shop and market where you can casually come in, sit down, read the paper and relax.) Or perhaps something like the Crimson Moon Cafe on the Square in Dahlonega, serving food, coffee, and family-friendly live music (mostly bluegrass). Or perhaps an Orvis-type store (fly fishing, outdoor apparel, gear). Or perhaps an art gallery. Or one of those "Wired & Fired" make your own pottery (party with friends). Or a Farmer Ds' home gardening supply store to support all of these organic vegetable gardens that are sprouting up? Or a "Dunwoody East" Welcome Center? Or something that's locally owned, run by Dunwoody Residents?

Remember: In the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, as voiced by the citizens and approved by the Council, this precise location sits at the apex of the "Jett Ferry Gateway", which is described as follows: "Neighborhood-scale commercial node focused on providing a unique destination for
surrounding residents, creating a pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment through multi-use
paths, streetscape, and well-designed parking areas and vehicular access. Cohesive
architectural design and streetscaping will define gateways into the City of Dunwoody. A
unifying design feature such as way-finding signage or city marker will link the gateway with the
rest of the City." Other points include:

* Establish gateway with features that define “arrival” to City of Dunwoody
* Re-orient site layout to reduce surface parking and create public plaza
* Leverage existing restaurants and gourmet food stores to cultivate a unique outdoor
dining and café experience

If I were an employer and had a job opening, I'd post the position description and attributes of the ideal candidate. Our position vacancy description is written in our Comprehensive Plan. It's better to have a job vacancy than to hire the wrong person. That's the way it is with an empty store front, as well.

Somebody needs to be educating the likes of former State Rep. Mark Burkhalter, resident of John's Creek and the owner of that shopping center, of what the citizens of Dunwoody have expressed in our Comprehensive Plan. It's like saying let's put a mini Wal-Mart in the center of Dunwoody Village, regardless of the input and vision of the citizens and our elected representatives.

As a city, we need to differentiate ourselves from our competition. Adding another fast food drive through restaurant does not accomplish this, and is clearly counter to our shared vision.

John Heneghan said...

Here is an idea that also includes the same store.

Green Biz Clusters? Encourage Your City to Shout It Out

A new local biz is opening in late September walking distance form my home (or bike-riding distance, as my reflection on the left of this photo shows me on my bike). This shop will sell organic, gluten-free bakery products and will have a Wi-Fi enabled space for hanging out and working.

This now means that within walking distance of my home, there is a locally-owned Italian market, a locally-owned toy store, a "green" dry cleaner, a consignment shop AND Goodwill drop-off location (the greenest thing you can do is reuse what already exists), a terrific health food store, and this new bakery. This now constitutes what could be called a green local business cluster. Add an eco-broker, a gardening supply and installation store like Farmer D's, an eco-restaurant like Farm Burger, some holistic healthcare facilities, a bike shop (there are zero bike shops in my city now, even though the city is striving to be "bike friendly"), a green remodeler and eco home supply store (where on earth do I go to see what recycled glass tiles even look like?), and frankly, my WalkScore will shoot off the charts.

Smart cities have economic development strategies to encourage and attract green clusters like this. These strategies include encouraging existing businesses to green their operations, attracting new ones that are already incorporating triple-bottom-line sustainability into their practices, dedicating marketing and PR services to get the word out about these green clusters (watch the greenwashing, please), mounting Buy Local campaigns, offering financial or other incentives, and more. Here is what some cities are doing. My city is currently doing nothing to encourage green business development (did I mention that my city is also home to the Americas headquarters of the greenest hotel management company in the world--IHG? You'd never have known that, would you? Here's a little info on one of its star properties). But, as always, hope springs eternal, and perhaps this holiday season we'll see its first Buy Local campaign. And the next time a prime eco-business comes looking our way, we won't lose it to another city (as we did with Farm Burger).

In the meantime, I finally know where to go to get a cup of organic, Fair Trade coffee. (I tried with Starbucks but gave up after it was just too much work and change was too slow.)