I’m writing today to share some news that is both difficult and exciting.
First, Radish & Rye will be closed next week (June 29 thru July 6). We are open as “normal” — for curbside pickup only — through June 28th.
Second, when we re-open on Tuesday, July 7, we will be operating our curbside business out of our storefront at 1308 N 3rd Street. The in-person aspect of the store will open at a later date.
And third — we will not be re-opening at the Broad Street Market.
When I wrote to you last Wednesday, this was not something we were yet considering. It has been a difficult — if sudden — decision for us, to say the least. Since we started dreaming of a standalone store, we always planned to remain in the market as well. Our love for the market was the original impetus for this business, and that love remains strong.
But as we have all felt, the pandemic has brought about a new reality. As the market returns to something-like-normal, and we have been contemplating how to move forward, we have realized that we don’t have the capacity to manage an ongoing e-commerce/curbside business on top of two in-person operations. In addition, we’ve realized that our stand at the market always relied on density to succeed — squeezing as many products and as many people into a small space as we can. And yet now, density is something to avoid.
We believe that we can no longer operate safely inside the market without making significant changes — changes that would affect your experience of Radish & Rye, and that would threaten our viability as a business.
These realizations have made our next steps clear, though heartrending.
We are closing the market stand at the end of business on Sunday, June 28th. We will spend the following week getting the new space setup for fulfilling curbside orders. Starting Tuesday, July 7th, all online orders will be picked up at 1308 N 3rd Street.
We will, at the same time, continue to push toward opening for in-person shopping. Yesterday I signed a contract with an e-commerce provider specializing in servicing independent grocery stores. This morning I signed a contract with a POS provider that provides graceful integration with the e-commerce solution. Both companies claim a 4-6 week implementation period. We’ve already acquired most of the equipment we’ll need for the store and the kitchen, and have ordered the rest — what we don’t already have is expected to arrive by mid-to-late July. We’re a year behind schedule, but the end (the beginning!) is in sight. In the meantime and beyond, online ordering and curbside pickup will continue.
We hope that you’ll stick with us, as you have over the past few months, as we navigate this transition. We hope that the impact on you will be minimal, since the new pickup location is right across the street from the market. We also think you’ll see some benefits — in the long run, the added space will mean a greater selection of offerings and a more comfortable shopping environment, and even in the short run the climate control of the new space should mean happier veggies (and refrigerators)!
We hope, of course, that’ll you’ll stick with the market, too. We hope you’ll view this not as a loss for the market, but growth for the neighborhood and the city. We are neither the first nor last vendor to leave the market for a standalone location; incubation of new businesses is part of what makes the market such a wonderful and vibrant place. We look forward to seeing what new ventures pop up in the space we’re leaving.
I am experiencing deep grief, but I’m also excited. Thanks for being with us on this journey so far; I can’t wait to see where we go!
P.S. We are bringing in extra quantities of some of the not-so-perishable stuff like beets, carrots, eggs, and bread in case you want to stock up to get through the week we’re closed. We have *never* closed before, though, so I’m not sure what to expect — we recommend ordering early and often if you’ve got your heart set on something. 🙂