The SCCL received the following letter of Michael Bateman in regards to the Bateman properties (Wild Earth Cafe Redevelopment site) on 99 Street and 89 Avenue. The original letter can be found here
First and foremost I would like to thank all the customers of Wild Earth
Foods and Wild Earth Bakery for your patronage over the last several years.
On behalf of the Bateman Family I would also like to thank all of our
tenants over the many years in our buildings, and they are too numerous to
mention. I would also like to thank the staff for their dedication and service,
and hope they will have another opportunity to be employed with the
services in the new building. Since my grandfather built these buildings, the
last in 1957, we have been proud to serve the community, employ many
residents, and offer a great gathering place.
Unfortunately, the buildings are at the end of their economic life. As these
buildings are over 60 years old there was no opportunity to renovate to
modern standards and bring in new tenants. Further to that, the grocery
business has become very difficult for the independent grocer to survive
with rising costs, an old building and shrinking margins. Wild Earth Foods
hasn’t been profitable for quite some time. My sister Deanne and her
partner Greta have worked hard to keep it open as long as possible and as a
family we decided to absorb this cost as a service to the community.
However it has now become more costly and as such we have decided to
close the grocery store at the end of September. Wild Earth Bakery will
remain open at least until the end of December.
As you may know, we have been working on redeveloping the site for a
couple of years and we had planned to close the building and be under
construction this fall. However, as we met with, and received feedback
from, the community, Councilor Henderson, City Planning and Mayor
Iveson, it has taken longer than anticipated moving our project along. We
have listened, gone back to the drawing board, redesigned our project and
have received a positive response to date with the new concept. We hope
to share our redesigned plans with you soon. We also hope to move the
process along as quickly as possible in order to bring back vital services and
jobs to the community. We expect that the City will host another open
house later this year but in the meantime we will be updating the
Strathcona Community League as well as our website as soon as our
application goes back in to the city.
If we receive the approvals to move forward our goal is to move as quickly
as possible to construct the building and sign leases to reopen retail
services.Wild Earth Bakery will return and it is our intent to source retailers
that will service the needs of the community.