I wrote the following letter this morning to the 5 people who signed the petition published in the Chestnut Hill Local this week. I want to share it here in case others stumble upon my blog.
Dear Respected Neighbor,
I am deeply saddened by the recent discovery of a neighbor group's displeasure about my new business' location. As one Chestnut Hill neighbor to another, I am writing to try to open a line of communication between us. As I wrote in my Letter to the Editor of the Local this week, my interests are to provide a service that I believe most of Chestnut Hill value by offering quality foods, responsible business practices and hours of operation that recognize most of us lead extremely busy, stress-filled lives and need sustenance before and after typical working hours.
I really spent a lot of time so that this store was carefully designed to respect my immediate neighbors and to limit noise, traffic, odors and any other unpleasant side effects that may exist in other food business.
I intend to offer food delivery so that people leave their cars at home or don't fill all the parking spaces around the store. I intend to offer a pedestrian incentive where those that walk will receive free and immediate delivery home by hand or bike.
A loading zone already exists in front of this space. I will use this to offer curbside pick-up to those that pre-order. Most of this traffic will be the same traffic that drives this street every afternoon to pick up children from school or return home from work. They will drive slower; they will have an opportunity to become a part of the community; they will respect and appreciate the beauty of this neighborhood that they only view as a blur in the periphery to date.
All trash and recycling receptacles are located in the building. We intend to offer extended recycling for all neighbors and hope that the immediate neighbors take advantage of us to drop off plastics that they cannot recycle at their curb. We intend to compost our food wastes off-site. Good Food Market plans to exemplify the most modern and ethical treatment of wastes available.
We plan a "wi-fi" lounge in the front of the store as a place where people can meet with each other inside the building and therefore not congregate outside on the sidewalk. We hope those that wait for the bus can come in from the cold. We hope neighbors will use this space for meetings, gatherings and socials to grow closer together as a community.
In our meetings with distributors and suppliers, we explain that we are a small storefront and can only handle small truck deliveries. We will not have early morning or late night deliveries. We are implementing a sophisticated Point-of-Sale system with a bar code scanner so we can check deliveries in as quickly as possible.
We are a small store that uses socially responsible business practices. That means, I believe the greater good of the community outweighs my own ambitions. I am terribly disappointed that this group does not understand this about me. I hope to get to meet each of you personally at some point so that we can get to know each other and respect one another for the contributions we each try to make individually to our community.
Thank you very much for reading this. I do hope you feel welcome to respond to me directly.