I n my last column I used the example of Ralphie Parker from the movie “A Christmas Story” to justify my blatant grandstanding for a visionary corporation to build its headquarters at Renaissance Center in Bountiful. Ralphie, as you certainly remember, was so determined to secure his Christmas wish that he pleaded his case to anybody who would listen, particularly to Santa. In the end, his persistent pestering secured his treasured Red Rider BB gun and a memorable Chinese dinner. Success.
Of course, I realize that Santa is not regularly in the business of granting wishes to municipalities, no matter how sincere and well-deserved their wishes may be. So I spelled out eight solid, practical reasons that a town called Bountiful should be at the top of any expanding corporation’s search list.
Having justified my first wish for a corporate headquarters in Bountiful in the previous column, I indicated I would make the case for my second economic development wish for the Bountiful area in this week’s column:
Wish No. 2 С I wish for South Davis County a specialty grocery store, along the lines of Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Liberty Heights Fresh. There are three vacant former grocery store locations in the Bountiful area. It’s time at least one of them were filled with a specialty grocery store that can cater to Bountiful’ s unique profile shoppers without jeopardizing the terrific general service grocery stores we already have. The addition would still leave a net loss of two stores in the area. This can work.
Christmas miracles aside, I don’t really expect a gourmet grocery store to come to Bountiful merely because it’s on my starry-eyed, economic development wish list. As with my corporate headquarters wish, I am prepared to give several solid reasons why South Davis County is a terrific location for economic expansion.
The first community attribute that companies look for when deciding where to expand is income level. Sorry if you hoped it was good looks, or the model behavior of your children. Nope, it’s the amount money they perceive you spend in their store. That being the case, they should know that the U.S. Census reports that the Bountiful area (State Senate District 23) ranks well above the state average in income С only six areas rate higher. The census also finds that we are considerably better educated, live longer, own more of our own homes, and stay in the area longer than citizens in most other communities. Now, does that mean we will buy more fresh fruits and veggies than other Utah consumers? In a word, yes!
Beyond that, our town legacy is based on growing and consuming great, fresh food. The name of our town screams, “buy your best food here.” With apologies to our neighboring communities, I appeal to specialty grocers such as those mentioned above. What could possibly sound better to your customer base than a store named Bountiful Fresh Foods? Come check us out, we have three locations ready to suit you and 50,000-plus fit, educated, secure, and hungry people ready to shop.
Editor’s note: Pitt is running for Bountiful City Council in 2013. This column does not reflect Clipper endorsement or support of his candidacy.