Grocery stores are coming.

Locally owned grocer Cox Farms Market is expanding to Oak Cliff. The organic market, which has a store in Duncanville, has leased 11,000 square feet in the Sylvan Thirty development at Sylvan and Fort Worth Avenue, former site of the Alamo Motel. “With its focus on farm-fresh produce and natural food products, its local family heritage, diverse customer appeal and its strong history of community involvement, Cox Farms Market is the perfect anchor for our project,” Sylvan Thirty developer and East Kessler resident Brent Jackson says. “This is not your typical big-box retailer.” The original Cox Farms opened 20 years ago on South Main in Duncanville, and the Fort Worth Avenue store will be the company’s second. It is expected to open in fall 2012.

Walmart is also planning to move into our neighborhood. The mega-corporation plans to build a new store, smaller than its typical Neighborhood Market concept, on Fort Worth Avenue at Colorado, site of the former Colorado Place Apartments. Those apartments were torn down in 2009 to make way for a mixed-use development that never materialized. This is one of 15 new stores Walmart plans to open in Dallas.

In other grocery news, Urban Acres recently added a new prepared foods chef, Nicole Van Camp, formerly of Bolsa. Owner Steven Bailey says the food will be local, organic prepared food and will include meals such as grilled salmon or chicken, soup, roasted vegetables, a stir fry kit that can be heated at home and chili. “The way we’re trying to do it is whatever we’ve got coming in from the farms and the store, we’ll do something with it,” Bailey says. Van Camp is a vegetarian, so there will be many vegetarian menu items from which customers can choose. The store also has new business hours: weekdays 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 469.248.2270,, 1301 W. Davis.

A new consignment shop, Eclectic Studioz, recently opened in the Bishop Arts District. Owner Noreen Sheets has been planning to open her own shop for a year. Sheets says she used to work in a friend’s store similar to hers and she enjoyed meeting people and seeing the merchandise come in. “I just love talking to people and just having fun,” Sheets says. She chose a location in Oak Cliff because initially a friend had asked her to share a store space, and when she realized she wanted her own shop, she enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the Bishop Arts District. “I live in Plano, and I’m amazed at how many people I already know just being here,” Sheets says. The store is open Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 469.644.9471,, 239 W. Seventh.

The 2011 Etsy Dallas team recently was announced. Some of the neighborhood members include Julie McCullough Kim, owner of Make Shop and Studio and Indie Genius, and founder of Etsy Dallas Stephanie Hindall, who is behindTefi Designs. The new team will be at the third annual Spring Bash April 30 at Southside on Lamar from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The free event includes 60 artists and crafters, a DJ, full bar, DIY crafting, free photo booth, and $5 parking. There will be plenty of handmade items to purchase and the event is wheelchair, stroller and pet friendly.

Smoke restaurant chef Tim Byres recently won Food & Wine magazine’s title “The People’s Best New Chef” for the Southwestern region. Byres was the only Dallas chef nominated. 214.393.4141,, 901 Ft. Worth.

Repotted will host a free class April 2 from noon-3 p.m. with guest speaker “Tropical John” Thomas. “He’ll do a two-hour talk on organic gardening, and then he’s going to spend two more hours after the talk helping customers, and he will tell them anything they want to know about any of the organic products we have and how to use them,” says shop co-owner Jamie Laws. Thomas will discuss common problems that can be overwhelming to a novice gardener, such as compost and pest problems. The shop’s spring and summer hours are weekdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. 214.948.4770,, 700 W. Davis.

Methodist Dallas Medical Center recently announced that Laura Irvine is taking over for former president Michael A. Mayo. Irvine began her career as an administrative resident at Methodist Dallas in 1996 and has served as vice president of Methodist Charlton and, most recently, as president of the Methodist Mansfield hospital since 2005. “They’re doing a search right now for a new president at Methodist Mansfield, where [Irvine] is president, and then as soon as that person is named, she’ll move over here,” says Kathleen Beathard, Methodist vice president of public relations and marketing. Currently, the Dallas interim president is executive vice president and chief of operations officer Pam Stoyanoff. “I think the community, once they know Irvine, they will be happy to have her working on their behalf,” Beathard says. “She’s known in her past role at Mansfield for being very active in the community, very involved in a lot of different initiatives, so the community can expect to see a lot of her.” 214.947.2900,, 1441 N. Beckley.

Do you know of a neighborhood business renovating, expanding, moving, launching, hosting an event, celebrating an anniversary, offering a special or something else noteworthy? Send the information to or call 214.292.0487.