January 11, 2023
When we opened Wildwood more than eight years ago, we had a few simple goals. We hoped to share the bounty of local farmers and producers. To create a welcoming and inclusive workplace. To meet and forge friendships with our neighbors. And to leave this old, abandoned gas station better than we found it.
Looking back, it has been a rollercoaster ride. Yet, despite the ups and downs, we feel we’ve achieved our goals. In another world, it might make sense for us to stay on the rollercoaster for another 10 or 20 years. But in this one, the time has come for us to move on to our next adventure. In February, Wildwood Market—along with Blooms by Wildwood—will close for good.
Make no mistake: This was a difficult decision. But after many long discussions and more sleepless nights, we’ve come to the clear realization that it is the right one for our family. It won’t surprise most of you to hear that running a neighborhood grocery store isn’t a walk in the park. The hours are long. The margins are thin. Competing with national chains is a never-ending struggle.
For years, we embraced the struggle with joy. Gradually, though, things changed. We welcomed our first child. We endured the emotional and financial trials of a global pandemic. Soon, the tough days began to outnumber the good ones. More concerning, the demands of the business began to clash with our priorities as a family. That’s when we knew it was time to close the book on a very special chapter of our lives.
We informed our team of our plans yesterday. As you know, they’re a wonderful group, and no combination of words could convey the depth of our gratitude for them. We will be closed today to give them time to process this news. We’ll re-open Tuesday for regular hours and continue operating in normal fashion for an additional two weeks. Then, on January 23, we’ll begin liquidating our products. We plan to close for good in the first week of February. We will alert you to the exact date as soon as we know it.
Some may be wondering if we’re open to selling the business. That has never been part of our plan, but we would be open to the possibility under the right circumstances. But, for now, our expectation is that the business will close permanently.
We know that for many of you this will come as sad news. But we are choosing to approach it with gratitude, humility, and even joy. Although the past few years have been tough, we haven’t lost sight of how lucky we’ve been to go on this journey. And the best part of it all? You. You sustained us with your patronage. You filled our cups with friendship. Best of all, you made a repurposed gas station glow with love and community. We watched many of your kids grow up. We’ve said goodbye to some of you—and hello again, too. Not to get all sappy, but it ought to be said: We’re going to miss you. A lot.
Instead of an end, we prefer to think of this transition as an evolution. After all, there are plenty more local farmers, producers, and businesses in Indy who need our support. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating and patronizing them, as their presence is key to preserving the unique culture of our city.
Finally—and most important of all—thank you. We will forever be grateful for the way you’ve enriched our lives, supported our family, and helped us realize a lifelong dream. It was a wonderful journey. But there will be more adventures ahead, no doubt. If you happen to see us in your travels, don’t be a stranger. Although today we’re saying “goodbye,” we hope to say “hello” again soon.
Craig and Emily Sanders
January 30, 2023
Hello again, friends!
We’re writing today to let you know that this past Saturday, January 28th, was our last day of regular business at Wildwood Market. This is a week earlier than we initially expected, but thanks to the great many of you that came out to help us clear our inventory, we were able to get rid of our entire inventory last week. We’re thankful for that.
This process has been incredibly joyful and rewarding for us and our staff. We have appreciated all of your kind words of encouragement, understanding, and even you sharing your sadness with us. You all meant so much to us and our business, but it’s clear that we sure meant a lot to you, too!
Making this hard decision has been empowering to us. It has shown us that the world isn’t quite as dreadful or negative as we expect it to be. It has shown us that quitting something when we’re still doing ok and not entirely miserable is okay. We are not ashamed of the outcome of these eight years - we are joyful and prideful and soaking up all of those kind words that you have shared with us. To have not gone on this journey at this time and place in our lives would have simply been a mistake. That doesn’t make it any less bittersweet, but while we share your sadness please know that we’re looking toward the future with optimism and appreciation for the things we’ve learned and people we’ve met on this journey.
Many thanks to our staff for their patience and compassion through this process. They were so steadfast and understanding. We will never be able to appropriately thank them for helping us get through these few weeks. If you have something you’d like to share with our staff please feel free to respond here or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your note and we’ll be sure to pass it along!
Finally, a quick word about supporting small businesses and farmers. We’ll spare you the long version, but happy to discuss this in depth with anyone that is interested (email email@example.com now or in the future!). Dear friends - you simply must show up for the businesses that you love. If you have a business or two in your life that you believe in and don’t think you can live without, please make a concerted effort to shop with them, encourage them, advocate for them, and appreciate them while you have them. Nothing lasts forever.
This is so long for now. Below are some details about a couple of items we’re working on in the short term, but we hope to see you somewhere further down our paths. Please take care of yourself until then.
Craig and Emily Sanders