The Yes! Organic market located in Fairlawn will be closing sometime in December, owner Gary Cha confirmed. The anchor retailer for the Grays on Pennsylvania was the first large organic grocery store east of the Anacostia river and the seventh location for its owner, Cha.
“We truly wanted to be the first store to provide healthy options,” says Cha, a native Washingtonian. “We tried to do this for two years, but we can’t do this for much longer.”
Despite accepting supplemental nutrition assistance benefits (SNAP) and Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) vouchers, Yes! suffered from low business volume, stated Cha.
Despite the setback at its current location in Ward 7, Cha hopes to open more locations east of the river. “The customers deserve equal access to organic food as those in Northwest,” he said.
Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander announced that she will be working with Cha to relocate Yes! to a more suitable location. Residents have complained about the store's nconvenient location parking-wise and high prices, she stated. Alexander is also committed to working with the owners of the Grays to find another grocery or convenience store to replace Yes!.
“We want a lot of things for our community,” Alexander said in a statement. “When a new business comes to our community, we should be diligent in supporting them.”
One resident, John Capozzi, is already planning ways to rally the community to keep Yes! open.
"If Yes! closes, other businesses will think twice about moving east of the Anacostia river,” he said. Capozzi points out that there are limited options to buy healthy food with only a few supermarkets in Wards 7 and 8.