Drewes is my local butchers. A shop that's been there for over 100 years serving its local community. I was in there today buying some beef for a casserole and some applewood bacon. They sell ethically raised meat, wonderful sausages, wine, fish and so on.
Anyway I found myself in a conversation with the owner after asking him if he was on his own today. Yes, he told me. The recession? No. Whole Foods. Since Whole Foods on 24th St opened his business has declined by over 30%. Now you can say a shop like Drewes has to work harder with that competition. And they are. But there are some things they can't compete on - like the car park out front, or the closure of other nearby businesses that drew custom or the fact that Whole Foods stocks everything and not just meat, fish, wine. I personally think they do compete with WF on price and I also think in terms of service, knowledge, quality and sausages they win hands down.
Now Whole Foods is very nice, for a supermarket. But it isn't a locally run business. It hasn't got the history, the connection. And I know that the locals in this part of San Francisco would hate to see Drewes go. Are they at risk of that? I don't know but I do know that they are having a hard time while watching many of their former customers head off in their cars to the WF forecourt.
If you're reading this and you live near Drewes on Church at 29th then you might like to know that they do discounts on Wednesdays - pick your own discount. If not, well find your own Drewes and support it because businesses like this aren't just for Thanksgiving and Christmas.