As Tidal Creek Cooperative gears up to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the small organic food market in Wilmington must contend with the opening of a much larger food store chain that also offers organic products.
But as WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, Tidal Creek owners are hoping that what spurred a small group of citizens to create the Co-op in the first place is what will keep it afloat after Whole Foods opens.
The arrival of a Whole Foods store in the middle of Wilmington is a game-changer for Tidal Creek – and that fact is not lost on General Manager Craig Harris.
“It’s certainly going to affect us.”
Access to locally-sourced food is a primary reason area residents started the Coop 30 years ago. And Harris says he hopes that local element is enough to keep the Coop thriving.
“We really live and breathe the local aspect. A chain could never do that.”
But ultimately, Harris says the burgeoning organic food demand is a good thing – as evidenced by the thriving Lovey’s Market near Landfall and the recently-opened Carolina Farmin’ on Market Street.
“I think we can all survive. I think there’s just a growing need for that, a growing interest in people taking care of their health. And ultimately – as they say the tide rises and all the boats rise with it. I think we’ll all benefit.”
A museum exhibit chronicling the 30-year history of Tidal Creek, curated by UNCW students, is now open and on display in the store.
Tidal Creek Co-op is an underwriter of WHQR.