Column: Love Duluth? Tell Trader Joe’s!As much as I love the area, I am always on the lookout to make it even better. That is why many years ago, I contacted corporate offices of the Olive Garden and told them of an amazing spot on top of a hill that would be just right for them.
By: Anne Scherer, For the Budgeteer News
There will be a new building downtown. We have seen pictures of the mayor and the movers and shakers all smiling and happily announcing that Maurices would be the main occupant, and that it will add to the vitality of our city.
It made me very happy as well because Duluth is my home.
Every time we travel out of town and return to see the lights reflected in the water and crowning the city, my husband reaches over, takes my hand and says, “It is good to be home,” and it is. We have been here since June 1981, which translates to 31 years. To those who have always lived here I am still not a local, but to me I am. I was born in Florida and lived there before coming here. And it is true that when I remember something from there I will refer to it as “down home.” But that is just southern speak and not validated by the heart.
I could easily be an ambassador for Duluth. I have shown our visitors the spots I adore many times. I know all about the fainting couches in Glensheen and the hidden toy area near the stairs and of course the button under the table in the green breakfast room to call the help. I know about the dunes and the rip currents on Park Point, along with the bunnies and the poison ivy. I know the history of St. Scholastica and relish showing off the stone façade as well as driving through the campus of UMD. I throw rocks at Kitchee Gammi Park (still Brighton Beach to me) and always fail at my attempt to skip them.
Our grandkids wouldn’t go anywhere else to enjoy the Polar Express train ride because Ken Buehler and his crew do it to perfection. It’s capped by a stroll through Bentleyville, after a meal and picture with Santa at Fitger’s. We also take them on the ride up the North Shore to eat and visit the unique shops, and to Canal Park for summer bike rides, stopping at the Rocky Mountain Candy store and a big hug for the bear who sits outside. We use Duluth as the gateway to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands as well as Gooseberry’s magnificent falls.
As much as I love the area, I am always on the lookout to make it even better. That is why many years ago, I contacted corporate offices of the Olive Garden and told them of an amazing spot on top of a hill that would be just right for them. They said they would look into my suggestion — then they built it right where I suggested!
Do I think I did it? No, but do I think my idea deserves a table whenever I call for a reservation? Absolutely! And do they know my name? Yes — when I am called for seating after the gizmo they hand out turns red and flashes, like it does for everyone else.
When The American Grill vacated, I was on the alert once again. I wanted a Panera Bread Company restaurant to open there. This time it ended up being the Noodles & Company instead. I’ll just have to keep on the lookout for the perfect Panera spot.
There’s yet another need to fill: I have longed for the old Ground Round to become a Trader Joe’s. For those who do not know, Trader Joe’s sells healthy, often organic, food and items that are second to none and not terribly expensive. I’ve tried often, and so far without success, to reach the company’s corporate offices before finding out there’s a group of Duluthians who share this very same desire.
I have allies!
Duluth is already the place to be to hike, enjoy nature at its most beautiful, bike, collect agates, climb rocks, skip them if you can, and enjoy sunsets made for an artist and sunrises fit for a king. It has ballet, plays, the orchestra, as well as sports and art, and the Lakewalk.
What it doesn’t have is a Trader Joe’s — but there’s strength in numbers with the other Trader Joe’s proponents. Keep your eyes open; if we succeed, we might get reserved parking spots.