Look out Whole Foods, here comes Fresh & Easy!

Hot on the heels of Oakland’s brand new Whole Foods and two new Trader Joes, it looks like downtown might be getting our very own Fresh & Easy. What’s so appealing about Oakland to the chain? Well:

“Stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods want to be in an upscale, affluent location, and we just don’t have those demographics,” said Brad Nail, Pittsburg economic development director. “One of the exciting things about Fresh & Easy is they want to provide food for everyone. They are willing to open stores almost anywhere.

Apparently they’re considering spaces at 20th and Telegraph, 17th and San Pablo, West Grand and Market, 606 Clara St., and the Coliseum Transit Village.

I can’t get too excited over this for my personal shopping future – big grocery stores aren’t really my thing. But I’m sure that many of the new residents that will be flocking to Uptown over the next year would be thrilled to have a cheaper grocery shopping option. And it would be incredible if they would stick one at West Grand and Market. I’ve mentioned West Oakland’s terrible food access problem on Novometro in the past. I know that some people want to bring the neighborhood organic, locally-grown, sustainable produce, and I honestly do think that’s great. But I’ve always thought that the first step should just be to get a Safeway or something in there. If people can buy a loaf of bread at grocery store prices (rather than crazy expensive liquor store prices), a package of skinless chicken thighs, and a pint of strawberries from Argentina or wherever without traveling across town, I think that’s a good thing, even if it may not be the same sort of food I like to fill my reusable canvas bag with.

Update: 11/30/2007
Great news! Prescott-Oakland Point Neighborhood blog reports that Fresh & Easy has leased the space formerly occupied by Eugene Market at West Oakland’s Jack London Gateway Shopping Center. Awesome.

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