So what is Naturalmind? Is it, as many in the neighborhood expect, an organic grocery store? Recent attempts at confirming what’s going on at the corner of Griffith Park and Sunset have failed to turn up much, being that the building is still virtually empty.
Dismantling of the facade revealed that prior to the cavernous Video Market, which I always suspected was some kind of front, the building housed a tae kwon do studio. Then the whole structure was painted green, apparently heralding the new business, but oddly, now it’s covered in plywood.
Naturalmind, May 2009; previous tenants include a video store and a tae kwon do studio
Naturalmind, July 2009
When the “For Lease” signs first appeared on the Video Market last fall, I begged my friend Sam from Bi-Rite in San Francisco to open an LA outpost there. (Truthfully I’d been trying to make that happen ever since I moved to Los Angeles in 2001, but finally I had the perfect location for him.) I even encouraged my friend Adam, who’s been in the organic produce business for 10+ years, to start up his own venture. Neither of them bit.
With plenty of space and even a parking lot, the site is a natural (no pun intended) for a neighborhood grocer. There’s already a popular farmers market held just outside its front door, but of course both its hours (Saturday mornings) and its variety are limited; you need to shop elsewhere if meat, cheese, and a bottle of wine are also on your list.
But then why would a grocery store call itself Naturalmind instead of, say, Natural Foods? What I'm afraid of is that rather than something that a wide swath of the neighborhood could really benefit from, we’re going to get a crappy vitamin shop, useless hemp-clothing emporium, or lame yoga studio. What would you like to see there?
*UPDATE 8/3: It is so much worse than I feared: Naturalmind is going to be a BEAUTY SALON. Ugh. This actually makes me angry.