Fresh & Easy will mark its first year in business with the debut of its 100th store, opening at 1207 South Euclid Street in Fullerton, this Wednesday, November 12th at 10:00 a.m.
Although I am impressed with its achievements (as well as curious about its selection of cheaply priced organic produce), I am left with one question: With 100 stores already in existence, how did Tustin, Irvine, and Costa Mesa get left out?
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If you take a gander at this Google map of its current locations in O.C., you'll notice the strange dearth of F&E's where this food critic usually trods.
What gives F&E? Where are you when Irvine/Tustin/Costa Mesa needs you most? Whole Foods (a.k.a. Whole Paycheck) won't be that hard to beat in this economic climate.
UPDATE: Got a nice and enlightening e-mail from one of the nice folks at F&E, who happened to be reading this post and the discussion that followed. Here's what she said:
I can’t tell you how much we have learned from everyone’s candid remarks.
I read your blog this morning on “Stick a Fork in It” and I wanted to send you a quick email to answer your questions about the locations you were interested in – Tustin, Costa Mesa and Irvine.
By no means have we avoided looking into these areas. In fact, we are very actively looking at properties in all three neighborhoods. Due to the economic situation in the US the property markets have been heavily affected, creating a rather difficult environment to secure property. Some properties have been significantly impacted by foreclosures and some shopping center developments have outright stopped, which may slow us down a little in our original plans to expand in that area.
Needless to say, we are still exploring many options in all three of those neighborhoods, so don’t count us out yet! Also, we don’t announce store locations until we are absolutely certain the property is secured – that way we don’t promise anything we cannot live up to.
So….that is the long and short of it! If you have a specific location you are thinking that a F&E would work for you and your neighbors, by all means let us know! http://www.freshandeasy.com/locationSuggestions.aspx