“It happens all the time. Whenever a larger store closes in Doylestown, residents mourn for a few days and then wish for a Trader Joe’s.” So writes Intelligencer staff writer Christina Kristofic. And boy, she isn’t kidding. The entire political and civic structure of Doylestown and Bucks County has organized a letter-writing campaign to get the healthy grocery chain to move into the space left vacant by the closure of Herb’s Hobbies and Crafts.
We’re talking the Doylestown Revitalization Board, the Doylestown Council and the Doylestown Business and Community Alliance, which is sort of understandable, but also the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and the Bucks County Commissioners, according to Kristofic.
All the letters highlight a few key facts: Doylestown is affluent and highly educated, which apparently would appeal to the Trader Joe’s customers (you do have to be affluent to buy a loaf of bread for 10 bucks, but higher education might not come into it). The most persuasive letter is from the county commissioners, who pitch the idea as a business opportunity in a community that’s not unlike Princeton, NJ, where the store currently has a location. It’s also the only letter that gives particulars:
The property in question features 12,070 square feet of retail space on the first floor and 840 square feet of office/administrative space on the second floor. It also includes 40 off-street level parking spaces and is a prominent location with frontage on two streets.
Tragically, “the folks at Trader Joe’s don’t seem to know Doylestown exists,” writes Kristofic. But that may change now that a realtor in Doylestown has passed the letters along to a realtor in Philly who does work with Trader Joe’s.
As for Herb’s Crafts and Hobbies, when an article was published about the closing in January, commenters left laments:
This is just sad – another Doylestown icon is going out of business. Everybody knows Herb’s Hobbies & Crafts store. Just really sorry to hear they can’t make it against the big competitors either. Wish you the best in whatever your next venture is.
What a shame; Herb’s will be missed. This is a perfect example of why SHOP LOCAL should be the FIRST choice!
Poor Herb’s. How quickly they forget.
• Doylestown leaders lobby for a Trader Joe’s