Friday, October 10, 2008

Former Employer Won't Leave Me Alone

Ellwood Thompson's, the Richmond VA natural grocer is coming to DC. I was gainfully employed at Ellwood's many years ago before I left Richmond. It is named after the intersection where it sits, Ellwood Avenue at Thompson Street. This will be the third location, although the second location opened and closed in the early 2000s. Richmond was not ready for two organic, vegan friendly markets. We are though!

Most of my paychecks went to buying groceries from ET and the pennies which remained went towards my college tuition. At the time ET was really the only game in town for organic, vegan and enviro-friendly alternative grocery shopping. Richmond was dominated by Hannafords (now Kroger) and another homegrown chain, Ukrop's. Whole Foods didn't arrive in the Richmond market until summer of this year.

Ellwood's was right on the edge of the downtown/uptown boundary. It was close enough for the suburban and uptown shoppers to get to without driving too far into the city and close enough for bike-bound college kids and cool kids (me) to get there easily as well. Like all the workers I was employed in about 10 different roles. It was a small operation and very friendly. Once, we had the year end holiday party at the owners house. I secretly thumbed through his CD collection in the "music room;" there were over 5,000 CDs! The atmosphere at ET is nothing at all like P Street Whole Foods or even Yes! Market. Much more homey and friendlier. I hope the new location is the same. Maybe the economy will force me to take a second job.... I wonder if they still have my stellar employee record on file.

Ellwood Thompson's will occupy the old Columbia Heights Post Office space in DCUSA, on Irving Street, below Best Buy. The store maintains an opening date of sometime during the winter of 2009-2010.