I am a new resident of Eureka, having chosen to relocate here from Southern California because of the many unique and positive characteristics found in Humboldt County. I was dismayed by the report that the director of Community Development for Eureka wants to lure Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe’s to the city (“Why is Eureka giving big to national chains?”, Times-Standard, Nov. 6, Page A4). I just moved from Riverside, a city of over 300,000 which was still struggling to create just one food co-op, had only one very small natural food store, another mid-size health food store (neither of which had many local products), one Trader Joe’s and a Sprouts. Although we were originally excited to finally get the Trader Joe’s and Sprouts because of more organic and natural options, they have nothing to compare with Eureka Natural Foods and the North Coast Co-Op. While their prices are lower, anyone wishing to purchase local, in-season products raised humanely and without GMOs isn’t going to have much luck at these kinds of stores. Despite there being many farms in So Cal, local produce was rarely sold, and it was difficult to find any information about sources for their products. Bringing one of these stores to Eureka would adversely affect your (and now my) wonderful local stores and farms. Bringing in big corporations has proven disastrous to local, small businesses in so many towns throughout the U.S. Eureka’s current mix of a few chains and many local businesses is a model that other cities and towns should emulate.
Katherine Latonio, Eureka