Annandale lost another long-time business Aug. 24 when Healthway Natural Foods shut its doors after 35 years at 4113 John Marr Drive.
The owner, Elizabeth Dicks, blames the landlord for refusing to fix needed repairs to the building. The roof was leaking, causing ceiling tiles to become bloated and fall down, and the landlord refused to do anything about it. “We couldn’t agree on anything. I felt I had to move on,” she said.
The shopping center is owned by the Curtis Investment Group. Until a few years ago, Dicks said she dealt with a landlord who was helpful and cared about the tenants, but now the shopping center is managed by a group of investors who are just in it for the money.
At one time, Dicks owned 10 Healthway stores in Northern Virginia. Now there are just four left. The closest ones are in Springfield, at 6402-4 Springfield Plaza, and Fairfax in the Pickett Shopping Center, 9424 Main Street. The other stores are in Alexandria and Purcellville.
Competition from other natural food stores wasn’t a factor, she said, noting that even Whole Foods couldn’t make it in Annandale. That store moved from Pinecrest Plaza on Little River Turnpike to Alexandria a few years ago. It should also be noted that the Healthway company had been involved in voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in 2012.
Dicks is sorry about having to close the Annandale store. “I loved the community,” she said. “We had the best customers in the world.”