January 23, 2003
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Sale of OG to be finalized this week

Organic Grocery owner Maria Thornton-Buckley said this week that she and her husband, Shaggai, are in the process of selling the store to Springfield resident Cristina Hipp and an unnamed business partner.

The sale is scheduled to be concluded some time this week, but as the News went to press, nothing had been finalized.

Hipp would not comment on the sale until all details were final, but she did say that she was excited about the opportunity and that a tentative agreement had been reached.

Thornton-Buckley said that despite the change of ownership, she expected many aspects of the business to remain the same. She also said that any sale would include all equipment and inventory currently in the store.

“I think the new owners plan on keeping the juice bar, deli and bulk foods and spices,” Thornton-Buckley said. “They have been receptive to our suggestions, and although they plan to innovate, I think they will continue to emphasize those successful aspects of the business.”

Thornton-Buckley said that both the OG’s financial difficulties and the decision to sell were heavily influenced by personal circumstances. In September, Thornton-Buckley’s mother suffered a stroke. Since her mother’s stroke, Thornton-Buckley said, she has not been able to devote the energy necessary to make the business successful.

“I can’t even describe how much I have had to give to this business personally and financially,” Thornton-Buckley said. “And since my mom’s stroke, I haven’t been able to keep giving like I had been.”

Thornton-Buckley and her husband have owned and operated the Organic Grocery since April 2000, and although things have not always gone smoothly, she says she does not regret the experience. “If I had it to do over again, I might make a few minor changes, but certainly wouldn’t abandon the whole thing. It was definitely a great three years,” she said.

Tough competition from natural food stores in Beavercreek and Springfield and a less than ideal business climate were some of the difficulties Thornton-Buckley cited when discussing the business’s recent struggles. She said that while many Yellow Springs residents talk about shopping locally and praise efforts to support the village economy, many of those same residents were actually spending more money in out-of-town stores than in the OG.

Thornton-Buckley also said that some local merchants were less than accommodating. “Some merchants were supportive and some were very unsupportive,” Thornton-Buckley said, pointing out that she was choosing her words carefully in order to be polite.


—Brian Loudon