January 30, 2003
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Sale of OG delayed; deal could be closed this week

Though the sale of the Organic Grocery was delayed last week, the store’s new owner, Kari Powers, said that she will complete a deal soon. Powers said that a lease and purchase agreement will be signed once they have been reviewed by her attorney later this week.

While Powers had planned to buy the store with Springfield resident Cristina Hipp, the two have redefined their future roles in the organization.

“It’s basically Cristina’s project. She will be the manager, and she will be responsible for all of the day-to-day operations,” Powers said in a telephone interview earlier this week. “I am basically the financial backer for this venture.”

Even though she will not be an owner, Hipp is excited about the opportunity to work in Yellow Springs. Originally from Santa Fe, N.M., Hipp said that she is passionate about healthy living and healthy foods. She sees Yellow Springs as a great place to share that passion.

“I have studied a lot about the healing properties of food, and I really like to focus on what I call ‘live food’ — basically uncooked fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. I definitely think there is a market for that sort of thing in Yellow Springs,” Hipp said.

Powers, who also owns two restaurants in Springfield, said that she is looking forward to doing business in Yellow Springs. Powers said that she is confident the venture will succeed, and with a new focus on raw foods, the business will be uniquely situated in the Yellow Springs market.

“We are going to keep some aspects of the store the same, but we don’t want to compete with grocery items that you can get other places in town,” Hipp said. “We want to offer people things they can’t get anywhere else.”

Hipp and Powers said that they plan to keep the juice bar, bulk foods and spices, and the carry-out service. Eventually, they would like to add a juice cafe where patrons could sit down and have a meal, but a fire exit would have to be added before a cafe could be operational. Hipp said that she also plans to change the layout of the store to create a more spacious atmosphere.

Both Hipp and Powers said that they are still brainstorming about other changes that could be made. Hipp said she would like to create a food cooperative that will allow people to purchase vegan and vegetarian foods at a discount, but those plans are still tentative.

“We have a lot of ideas, but for some of them we will have to wait and see what the demand is,” Powers said. Hipp said that within a few days there will be a suggestion box placed outside the store so local residents can tell the manager what they would like to see from the new store.

No name has been chosen for the new business, but Hipp and Powers said that they have been considering a variety of monikers, including The Yellow Springs Juice Bar and The Earth Food Cafe. Both Hipp and Powers said they hope to reopen the store by March 1.


—Brian Loudon