The Boxcar Grocer Closes To Focus On Expansion Strategy

Castleberry hill “foods and goods” retailer slows down to speed up.

UPDATE (August 7, 2015): Brunch Cabana To Serve Breakfast All Day In Former Boxcar Grocer Space

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After three years in business, The Boxcar Grocer is pumping its breaks.

The “urban corner store” in Castleberry Hill, at 249 Peters Street SW, announced in an email this week to patrons, Boxcar has shuttered its flagship location.

“Monday, we hosted a party at the store. A lot of people saw it as a closing party, we saw it as a coming of age party,” according to the email.

“Either way, we continue to reiterate that the store had to close so we could put in place the structures it needs to expand.”

Brother and sister Husband and wife team Alphonso and Alison Cross were growing at too fast a rate to keep up, the couple shared in their announcement.

From the day we opened, this store has moved faster than we could keep up operationally. Y’all stuck with us as we tried indoor farmers markets, Art Stroll parties, and rotated through a number of attempts to provide onsite chefs. I wrote about the challenges and the victories all along the way in my blog. It’s not an easy thing to change one’s self, so attempting to change a system while making sure that there is enough coffee in the pot and bagging groceries was over-zealous on our part.

We tried to do too many things too fast. We were organizing in the community, working face to face with urban farmers, providing free business development for any local entrepreneur who came through our doors, and generally, failing to focus on making our own business stronger before offering help to everybody else because we truly think everyone deserves to board the train towards abundance.

These next few months while the store is closed, we are focused on building those internal muscles our business needs to be able to spring forward. The time we are giving ourselves is already paying off. We expect to open two more locations before the end of the year.

During our incubation period these last two weeks, our store has grown more mature than it did while we were scrambling every day to keep up. (Read my cousin Milan’s lifelong commitment to build strength) It takes letting go of what you were to grow into what you want to become. It can be a scary process, but it is the only way to move forward. We are more clear about our mission and how we are going to reach the next milestones to stay sustainable.

While the Castelberry store will not reopen, Baxocar is “set to open another location in the metro Atlanta area by early summer,” according to the retailer’s website.


Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

4 Responses

  1. That press release was so full of corporate speak I vomited. It didn’t make a good impression. It is so typical of today…string lots of words together, try to sound intelligent and say a lot nothing. Well done.

  2. Next time less self promotion and more store promotion. At the end of the day it’s a vegan rocery store a small sevenanda plain and simple. Seeing happy smiling good faces of the owners on the website does not inspire brand loyalty. Hearing canned a speaches as a way to self promote your ideas and run for office has nothing to do with the boring day to day of running a stoRe. An example of a great local grocery store is the grocery store in Inman Park off N. Highland. Do we know the owners? No. This has bee more about the owners and less about the product. If anything hopefully they can take the time to realize their strengths and possibly pursue careers in activism and social justice. I think they would be better suited and happy doing that.

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