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Charlotte will be getting an EarthFare grocery store, no two stores before the end of '06.  This is fact, I sell them meat products.  Their near fanatical zeal for organic and clean puts Wholefoods to shame. 

Cool...this is right near my house.

Hope it's a nice place.

http://earthfare.com/release_full.asp?releaseID=17

The second location, near the Raleigh airport in the Brierdale Shopping Center in the Brier Creek development area, will feature a slightly larger product mix in a larger, 26,000 square foot space. It too will feature a sit down café and Community Room for public events.

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Poor, poor EarthFare in Charleston. They've had a fairly successful shop on one side of town for years, so they opened another in an upscale shopping center on the other side of town just about year ago.

About three months later Whole Foods opened about 5 miles from them, and that "near fanatical zeal for organic" that FlapJack Willy referred to is contributing to an %&^kicking that is astounding. A friend of mine worked in EF meat department and sales dropped 40% in a month and haven't come back up yet. They are in serious trouble.

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I'd love to have a Whole Foods in Birmingham. There are a couple of "gourmet markets", but that requires a lot of legwork. The Bruno's chain is OK, as far as grocery stores go, as they will carry more upscale or hard to find items, and they will special order for you, under most conditions.

Birmingham also has Culinard for education, also Southern Living and Cooking Light magazines are headquartered here. They have cooking demos and classes as well. So there is some education available, we're a couple of hours from Atlanta, so it's not like we're completely in the backwoods, but for a city of nearly a million people (metro area), there aren't a whole lot of options.

Hey Fistfullaroux - How is Culinard doing? I used to livein BHAM and worked at Southern Living, and watched the opening with interest just after moving to Charleston. Do you hear good things?

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Poor, poor EarthFare in Charleston. They've had a fairly successful shop on one side of town for years, so they opened another in an upscale shopping center on the other side of town just about year ago.

About three months later Whole Foods opened about 5 miles from them, and that "near fanatical zeal for organic" that FlapJack Willy referred to is contributing to an %&^kicking that is astounding. A friend of mine worked in EF meat department and sales dropped 40% in a month and haven't come back up yet. They are  in serious trouble.

Is it because they're higher priced?

Or is it that the organic stuff isn't as pretty?

Or is it just better selection?

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There is an excellent Italian Market in Greensboro that is worth the ride.  Stay of the interstate and go the back way.  Giacomo's on High Point road. 

Just curious about why to stay off the Interstate? Are there interesting things to see along the way? I usually fly in and out of Greensboro when I visit Charlotee but typically arrive late at night and have a return flight that's very early on hte morning. But a side trip on a Saturday is not out of the question.

What Italian products are you looking for? Pasta and Provisions has lots of dried/canned goods, and of course excellent fresh pasta and house made sauces, but they lack in the meat/cheese dept.

Typically I'll be in need of olives, cheeses, cured meats, salt packed anchovies, good olive oil and Italian sodas.

As for having a good dinner and then having to drive 10 or 15 miles to get home.... that's why I'm hoping to convince the GF to sell the house in University Park and move into an older estabished 'hood like Elizabeth or Plaza-Midwood (I'm guessing that Myers Park and Dilworth are out of our price range).

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Typically I'll be in need of olives, cheeses, cured meats, salt packed anchovies, good olive oil and Italian sodas

Pasta and Provisions will have the olives, but your best bet is to hit Dean and Deluca at Phillips Place. They have a wonderful selection of cured Italian meats, an olive bar, anchovies, etc. Not sure about the sodas.

They will have a large selection of olive oil, but it's pricey.

Here's the site for Pasta and Provisions: Pasta and Provisions

For Italian olive oil, check out this website Slowtrav

There is extensive info on what to look for and online sources. My favorite oil comes from Liguria!

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I'd love to have a Whole Foods in Birmingham. There are a couple of "gourmet markets", but that requires a lot of legwork. The Bruno's chain is OK, as far as grocery stores go, as they will carry more upscale or hard to find items, and they will special order for you, under most conditions.

Birmingham also has Culinard for education, also Southern Living and Cooking Light magazines are headquartered here. They have cooking demos and classes as well. So there is some education available, we're a couple of hours from Atlanta, so it's not like we're completely in the backwoods, but for a city of nearly a million people (metro area), there aren't a whole lot of options.

Hey Fistfullaroux - How is Culinard doing? I used to livein BHAM and worked at Southern Living, and watched the opening with interest just after moving to Charleston. Do you hear good things?

AFAIK, fine. I haven't had much chance to deal with them, but I do know that they will not donate food for charity events :hmmm: ... Bugs the hell out of me. Brunos was even going to donate the ingredients, but no dice. Needed to feed 50 people, so I ended up cooking. So much for supplying some practical experience for the students. But I digress.

Haven't had a chance to eat at the restaurant yet, but I've heard good things. I have no idea what their enrollment is, but they are still advertising very very heavily. I hear Susan Notter's name a lot...

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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