Friday, October 12, 2018

[Roasted] Whole Foods Replaces Revelator with Allegro in Chamblee & Kennesaw

In a rather quiet move, Whole Foods Market last week replaced the two Revelator coffee shops in the grocer's Chamblee and Kennesaw stores with Allegro, a brand owned by Whole Foods.  Both coffee shops opened when the grocery stores debuted in August (Chamblee) and October (Kennesaw) of 2017. [Birmingham,Alabama-based Revelator Coffee Company purchased Atlanta-based Octane last March.] 

According to their website, Revelator still operates four shops in metro Atlanta, Grant Park and Ponce City Market [inside west elm] under the Revelator branding, and in the Woodruff Arts Center and on the Westside, under the Octane branding. 

The Revelator in the Whole Foods Market in Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham, also opened last fall and also converted to Allegro.   

Meredith Singer, Executive Director of Brand Strategy & Marketing for Revelator, provided ToNeTo Atlata the following statement regarding the brand's departure from Whole Foods Market:

After Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, we entered into discussions with our operating partners at Whole Foods and decided to amicably end that partnership agreement for in-store retail cafes. Our staff and our customers were lovely, and we really enjoyed our partners at Whole Foods, but that business model didn't, ultimately, make sense for us. We are excited to refocus our attention on updating and supporting our existing stores and preparing for other build-outs.
After a number of delays, the Whole Foods in Chamblee eventually opened August 18, 2017.  Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market was announced June 16, 2017 and officially closed August 28, 2017.  

In the days following the acquisition, Amazon claimed that it was lowering prices on many items at Whole Foods and would reward Amazon Prime members with extra savings.  There are differing opinions on whether the low prices remained low or were just a short term gimmick.  Prime members, however, do receive slight savings on select products on a regular basis.  

One unfortunate result of the grocer's acquisition has been Amazon's efforts to centralize buying and limit local stores' ability to partner with and carry the products of local, independent small businesses like Revelator and AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery.

AtlantaFresh, a local purveyor of milk, yogurt and other dairy items, was forced to close its doors this past March after nearly ten years in business.  Founder Ron Marks did not mince words when crediting his decision to partner with Whole Foods and significantly ramp up production to meet their needs as the reason for the closure. 

"After Whole Foods cancelled its purchasing contract AtlantaFresh Creamery forced to shutter doors."  

According to a representative from Revelator, the coffee company's beans are still sold at local Whole Foods Market stores.  

The former Revelator turned Allegro in Whole Foods Market Chamblee 
Additionally, despite the Octane at Atlanta Tech Village being absent from the Revelator website, it is not permanently closed.  The location had some "equipment issues" and should be back up-and-running "shortly."     

The upcoming Revelator at 101 Marietta (formerly Centennial Tower) should be open by the end of October.     

By the end of the year, Revelator plans to open two new Buckhead outposts, one in Lenox Square, the other in Phipps Plaza.  Both are expected to feature Queen of Cream ice cream.  

Early last month, Revelator closed its upscale The Mourning Dove at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta after opening it this past December.  The company plans to reopen in "a better space" on the Westside.  

Have you tried Allegro coffee?  Do you think Whole Foods and Revelator made the right decision in opting to part ways?  Have Revelator and Octane gotten better, worse or stayed the same following their union?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

More competitors Amazon is killing off...

Anonymous said...

Amazon is not killing off Revelator by removing two awkward outposts that did very little business. Calm down.

Anonymous said...

Very little business? The Chamblee location was jammed all the time. Its basically a name change, change of staff and destruction of another small business. Amazon takes no prisoners.

Anonymous said...

I loved AtlantaFresh!! Amazon/WF is a piece of Shit!! never forgive WF for taking my Wild Oats grocery store away!!

Anonymous said...

@ 11:05 AM Bezos worship

Anonymous said...

Allegro is a giant mistake that Whole Foods will someday be forced to admit. Its own employees struggle to say anything kind about it. That said, as long as WF is stuck with Allegro, I understand that it might as well pimp it anyway it can in its stores. I get that. No worries. I'll continue to buy Revelator, Perc and anything but Allegro. WF will have to continue to carry premium coffees because they know many of their customers and employees won't touch or recommend Allegro. Period. Frankly, WF ought to find a way to make better coffee -- it isn't rocket science. Or maybe they should buy Revelator and learn from a company that at least knows how to source and roast. . . . .

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