Thursday, June 15, 2017

Our local grocer is dying...

...and I am sad.

Ever since I moved to Indy, the Marsh supermarket at the corner of 62nd and Keystone has been what I would consider my neighborhood supermarket. Their prices and selection were good, the meat counter had good meat, the produce was fresh and varied, and the deli had a good variety of cheeses and lunch meat.

They had all the trendy features of a modern supermarket: A salad bar and a sushi bar and an olive bar. There was a little dine-in area by the deli & bakery.

But Marsh is auguring in. Bankruptcy has been filed, and the Hoosier grocery chain will officially be no more come July 1st. Kroger has bought some, and another Ohio chain has bought others, but that leaves eighteen Marsh stores that will close for good next month, and our local Marsh is one.

And, honestly, I helped kill that one.

It started when Fresh Market opened around the corner from the house. That pretty much ended purchases of meats and produce and deli items from Marsh for us. Fresh Market's selection on that stuff is better, the prices weren't measurably worse, and the convenience of being right around the corner kinda sealed that deal.

That left Marsh for processed and packaged foods, and household goods. When the neighborhood Target became a "Super Target", that siphoned off some of that business from Marsh for us, but not a ton. It was harder to park and get in and out of the shopping center where the Target was located, so Marsh still won on convenience.

And then they opened the Meijer at 54th and Keystone, and that was the last nail in our neighborhood Marsh's coffin.

I felt a little guilty when I stopped into Marsh a couple months ago after a several-month hiatus. The place was just generally down at the heels; under-stocked, under-staffed... I felt bad, especially, because the company must have been a good employer; most of the staff was the same as it was years ago when the place was a near-daily stop for me.

So, no, nobody bought our neighborhood Marsh, and why would you? There are two Krogers, a Fresh Market, a Fresh Thyme, a Meijer, and a Super Target all in a square a couple miles on a side. It's practically the opposite of a food desert.

I'm looking for the next likely victim to be the "mini Kroger" in the heart of Broad Ripple. It has a lot of fierce neighborhood loyalty, but the Fresh Thyme that is part of the new 151-unit "The Coil" apartment complex is bound to draw off a fair amount of business.