Heather Mussleman could not have sounded less thrilled to hear from Unfair Park this morning, though, we assume, it was nothing personal. The publicist just didn't want to answer a question raised by the Houston Business Journal Friday, where it says, at the very end of a story you can't read without a subscription, that Wild Oats Natural Marketplace will be opening a Dallas location in 2009. (Houston's getting its first Wild Oats, in The Woodlands Crossing Shopping Center, in early 2008, says the developer who owns the property.)
All we wanted to know was how firm is that 2009 date and, like, did Mussleman know where Dallas' Wild Oats might be going -- especially since Whole Foods and Central Market have done a pretty good job of infiltrating the market all by their healthy lonesomes. (Update: And since, as Mark Stuertz has dutifully reminded me, Wild Oats opened and closed in 1998 back on Mockingbird and Central -- in a dry precinct, no less.)
Mussleman, when reached at Wild Oats' Colorado corporate headquaters this morning, first said she'd call back with some more info. That was after she sighed. (I bet she is so sorry that Sonja Tuitele, Wild Oats' regular spokesperson, is out on maternity leave till April.) Then, about 10 minutes later, she called back and said this and only this: "We won't comment on any stores till we announce a grand opening." Reporting is awesome. --Robert Wilonsky
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