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Moving Fiddleheads into the proposed Klewin development at Parcel J seems misguided. It doesn't bring a new business to New London. It leaves another empty space downtown. And it's hardly affordable.
We applaud Fiddleheads for its progress, but find the prices too high. Expansion into the Labor Ready space indicates that the store is doing well at its current location. Much of the work is done by cooperative owner-members or volunteers. The Fiddleheads website advertises one position for 25 hours at $11/hr.
Klewin claims offers from other grocers but doesn't identify them. We emailed him information for the ALDI chain, which is actively looking for new sites. This no-frills, well-run store provides the basics at prices below other competitors because of its unique business model. ALDI, a combination of Albrecht and Discount, is another branch of the Albrecht family of Trader Joe's fame.
ALDI pays higher wages. Its website offers a job fair for the nearest store in Lisbon on July 7, with store associates at $12.25/hour and shift managers $16.50/hour with "Cadillac" benefits.
A store such as ALDI would be a better fit for New London's Parcel J with the 20 percent affordable housing apartment building Klewin has proposed.