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EDC committee to look at recruiting Japanese grocery


Could Farragut be the site of a “regional draw” Japanese grocery store?

That’s the question Naoko Blue posed to Farragut’s Economic Development Commit-tee Wednesday morning, April 6.

Blue, a Japanese native herself, said the closest Japanese grocery stores to the East Tennessee area are in Atlanta, Ga., and Chicago, Ill. Some of her clients, also Japanese, travel to those grocery stores to shop regularly.

“I feel Knoxville, or I should say Farragut, is centrally located, about eight hours away” from most regional areas, Blue said.

Pamela Treacy, co-owner of Campbell Station Wine & Spirits, agreed: “We’re right between the big one in Chicago and the one in Atlanta.”

“The Farragut we’re talking about here is our location, not our demographics,” she added.


Blue said she had contacted a Japanese grocer with locations in California and Chicago nearly a year ago, but he did not seem interested in opening a new location during the recession.

“I think we have a really huge opportunity,” Blue said.

Nancy Howard, a Loudon County stay-at-home mom, agreed, saying she wanted a task force to look at recruiting a Japanese grocery store.

“That has the old Food City written all over it,” EDC chair Jim Holladay said.

The proposal was relegated to EDC’s recruitment subcommittee.

 

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