Market Street Grocery Opening in September

A small grocery store is coming to downtown, Tracy Clemons reports for NBC-29, the unfortunately-named Market Street Market. In the old Unlimited Vitality space (“more cheese for your money” / “if you love me, don’t feed me junk food”), it’s being started by a father-and-son pair who are shooting to open their doors in early September. They name local meat and produce as two of the types of food they’ll be stocking. It’s not a particularly large space, but Unlimited Vitality always managed to stuff a lot in there, so presumably these folks can do likewise.

16 Responses to “Market Street Grocery Opening in September”

  • Ancient buildings like that old Omohundro building have major, endless problems with insects and vermin. The amount of weekly, more likely daily treatment it will require to keep the population of nasties down will be horrendous. That probably won’t bother anyone but me. The constant chemical treatment odor didn’t seem to bother UV shoppers.

    The local health department has a record of seldom noticing and -never- publicizing matters like that.

  • At worst, they will require monthy treatment from a commercial company. The smell will last about an hour at best. If they are on it from the start there will be no problems. It is the companies that do NOT have treatment you need to worry about.

    Do not be an idiot trashing a new business bringing something positive to the mall with complaints that have no merit. The newest building in the world will have problems if no preventative measures are taken.

    They need to make sure they carry plenty of the little things that someone need for an entire meal: small 1# orders of meat, solo chicken breast , ground beef etc. Otherwise people will get what they need at the store they are having to shop at otherwsie for those staples. Downtown markets are a unique issue. They need to carry EVERYTHING. They will also need pretty extensive hours for the mall rats, who will want to grab something on the way home after dinner, after work at 10PM…

    Waldo can vouch that I know what I speak in this instance.

  • For starters, ancient downtown wooden (um, tasty!) buildings, especially those with basements connected to others by rat tunnels, as are most of Charlottesville’s, have insect and vermin problems decades – sometimes centuries – before the new store opens. You can’t “get ahead” of the problem with an old building, though you might keep up if you give it adequate attention.

    Realty brokers (I was one for 30 years) have an obligation today to learn about such things when they list these properties for sale or rent. In the modern era, failure to inform a prospective buyer or tenant could lead to the broker being required to correct the defect.

    Super markets today are humongous caverns with miles of shelves because of the range of items needed for adequate stock. A small retail space like the Omohundro building will serve a serious need for a downtown food store, but that’s what it is – a downtown food store – not a super market.

    After it opens, there’s bound to be a lot of unfair criticism from people of the glass half-empty school. Rather than praise them for what they carry, many will complain about what they don’t.

    Help from those who understand will be useful. I’ve always found that keeping your eye on the ball requires taking off the rose colored glasses.

  • I’m sorry, I’ve been away too long… Where
    was Unlimited Vitality, exactly?

  • Right where the two ex-owners used to argue all day long and distrust their customers to levels not know by Wal-Mart. Also known as the corner of 4th and market.

    People will want what they can carry in 2-3 bags in their hands, so smaller sized items with choices of all areas. Not meaning they need 5 choices of maple syrup, but they need maple syrup…and butter….and pancake mix…and waffle mix…and some eggs…and some bacon…and some milk…and coffee…

    These are what the downtown mall wants, in smaller easy to carry sizes.

  • The Chandlers were in business at 4th and Market for 23 years. They said UV stood for Unlimited Vitality. Customers suggested other meanings, like Unbridled Vituperation, Ultra Venom, and Uldine Vents.

    Excerpted from the 06/06/02 Hook

    A few words about Ron & Uldine Chandler

    There were other troubles in the customer relations department. In the early ’90s, a warrant was issued for Ron’s arrest after a customer accused Ron of slapping him. “It was the biggest damn lie ever,” Ron says. Uldine agrees that when Ron stuck out his arm defensively, the customer claimed Ron hit him. “And we’d special ordered stuff for him,” Ron adds indignantly.

    Sandy McAdams at Daedalus Bookshop down the street has his own memories. “You won’t believe the number of girls who came in here in tears after going in that store,” he says. “They were always questioning people who came into the shop about whether they were stealing.”

    His reaction to the news that Unlimited Vitality’s days were numbered: “I’m so glad they’re closing. They’re nasty people.”

    McAdams relents a bit. “Obviously I don’t want to make them feel bad, but they were quite dreadful.”

  • Those quotes from Sandy are a hoot, Ms. Christian! Thanks for digging up that little gem. :)

  • The cheese was cheap, the floors were dirty. Also known as Unlimited Hostility. If memory serves, they were known as Christians (of a sort), and the fact that it was a natural foods store probably did lead to tears.

  • When we first moved to Charlottesville, my midwife wanted me to buy a nutritional supplement that was only sold at Unlimited Vitality. She warned me ahead of time not to bring my kids with me when I went there because the owners were so mean.
    I’m excited about the new grocery store. I’d like a place I can walk to, daily, and just pick up enough food for the day, and maybe avoid the supermarket and all its junk food forever.

  • I really miss Unlimited Vitality. Remember that freakishly huge plant they had in there? Wonder which of the vitamins they were feeding it?

    My favorite memory was when Uldine locked Ron out of the store. All of us customers were locked in with her as she hurled abuse at him and he pounded on the glass door. Good times! Charlottesville was so much cooler when it was populated by characters.

  • I never went in there, but I like this guy who says, “Hey, it wasn’t my fault. He ran his face into my hand.”

  • Remember Reid’s is still on Preston and always looking for a few more good customers, when you downtown folks tire of the new mini-sized grocery store.
    Wonder how much better they will be than the Lucky Seven just further down Market?

  • I like Reid’s, but it’s difficult to get there on foot, for me, at least. Last year I attempted to buy all my family’s food at locally owned stores and I learned two things: 1. No one store has everything you need. I would have to go to C’ville Market for eggs, and IY for produce, Reid’s for packaged stuff (although Reid’s now carries the good eggs I used to go to C’ville for), etc. 2. I actually spent less on food (for a family of six) over the course of a month despite higher prices because we bought so much less junk food. If this new store has something of everything: dairy, eggs, meat, bakery, condiments, oils, canned food it would be awesome.

  • @Victoria, I agree.

  • wow, despite having lived here on-and-off since 1986, I have no memory of a place called “Unlimited Vitality” … also having trouble picturing exactly where this place was. Is it that antique furniture store that just closed? Couldn’t be above Market St. Wine, those are all apartments… or was it that weird faceless 80’s-looking office building on the NW corner? I’m trying to form a mental picture of where a grocery would even BE at that intersection, but it’s not cohering … I don’t suppose anybody has a picture?

    Reid’s is great, yes, but a little far for those of us who live in North Belmont. I’d shop at this new place all the time if it was any good.

  • Yeah, the late Cadogan Square SW 1 or whatever. Pictures must exist of the old UVI.

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