What would Les do if he were here?

CLARIFICATION: We are very PRO Tire Store.

There is room for BOTH. We strongly support both a new Les Schwab tire center on the acre or more of land facing 99E (exactly where they want to build) and keeping Naomi’s on the current acre (or less if needed for more parking) facing residential Sellwood, that they are currently on. We think the site they want to build on is actually perfect for a Les Schwab store and will add convenience for all of us. It would be a bit loud shopping for plants right along the busy highway, but it’s great for automotive use and it would be a neat juxtaposition of the two companies. What better than to have a new sustainably designed tire center on an acre, next to a really fun acre of flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, goats, chickens and where our kids can play. Sounds like sweet urban planning.

The Les Schwab Tires Corporation executives in Bend, OR (photo right) are still privately deliberating.  There has been no response to this petition, the Oregonian article, or our point-by-point response letter, yetWe hope there will be.

Their 420+ tire store managers and employees are working hard to provide the best customer service they can.  We realize that the executives and lawyers at the top of large corporations move slowly, though.

Each day, at their headquarters, they are receiving more and more of your petition signatures, letters, phone calls, emails, postcards, photos, videos and children’s drawings, in a way that is unprecedented for them.  You are an incredible force of positivity.

Excitingly, Les Schwab still has no plans to build on the acre Naomi’s is currently on, just on the neighboring asphalt acre.

Naomi’s could stay on the sunny acre of urban farm land.

Les Schwab could complete the purchase, remediation and building of the tire center they have planned for the neighboring asphalt acre property.

We could all win as customers and neighbors!

Per Les Schwab’s letter to their customers (below), Naomi’s has sent their rent in for June and the shop is thriving.

With your continued and growing support this summer, we can work to permanently keep Naomi’s right where they are and support a new tire store right next door at the same time.

Les, the man, provided many people with their first 4-H farm animals.  He would truly love being neighbors with Naomi’s shop and urban farm.

Please continue emailing us your copies of your letters, art and thoughts to friendsofnaomis@gmail.com and we will post them here.

Thank you!
Friends of Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply

* 3 photos of Naomi’s from Sweet Little Sasquatch blog

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9 responses to “What would Les do if he were here?

  1. If the big bad wolf blows down your house, come and join us with Shining Star Waldorf School to purchase a new property as a life time home for a farming group and a schooling/family group….a match made in heaven!

  2. We love Naomi’s…a lot.

    I’m going to be bold here and remind Naomi’s of the obvious: the lease was a temporary deal. Did I mentioned we (my husband and child) love Naomi’s? Good. We do. Love having them so near our home. Love what they sell, the animals, and most of what they are up to.

    I’m a little saddened to see Naomi’s take such a victim-stance in something that was a known factor. I’m also worried that the next start-up seeking a good deal in a temporary setting via the goodwill of a company may be endangered by the awful (yes, I said it) example being set by Naomi.

    Yes, express your desire to stay put…but don’t make Les the bad guy! They are not. You are and have always been empowered by choice. I would like to encourage Naomi’s and their supporters to adopt a new approach to this opportunity: THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER.

    Naomi’s is not a victim. THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER.

    • Joy — I think you’re right in some respects. However, I also think we can and should expect something better from our locally owned companies. Remember when Walmart wanted to build at the site of the bins? Our community said “Hell No” and they moved along. Granted, Les Schwab owns the land Naomi’s rests upon and it’s a great (for them) location for a tire shop right off 99. But, is it good for the neighborhood? Does it enhance lives? Not in my opinion, and as I stated earlier, there are several Les Schwab Tire Centers in that area.

      Do I think Les Schwab should donate the land? No. I think they should sell it to Naomi for market value because even though it was a temporary lease, we all know that starting up any kind of business is in and of itself a huge risk in this economy. Naomi’s made it work and now they want to stay, the neighborhood wants it to stay and I think Les Schwab, as a local company needs to take all of this into consideration. I expect better from them than I do from Walmart. I realize that may sound horribly naive, but then, I don’t shop at Walmart, either for a variety of reasons and I have no problem adding Les Schwab to my personal “No Fly Zones”.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts Joy Girl. We encourage you to read our response to Les Schwab’s letter.

      The initial lease was under the premise that if there was enough room, per the city’s building requirements, Naomi’s could stay. It turns out that Les Schwab’s proposed building and parking plans, per what the city allows, does fit on the acre on 99E / McLoughlin, that Les Schwab has been trying to purchase. This means there is the room for Naomi’s to stay intact, accommodate more parking if needed and for there to be a very large Les Schwab Tire Store to the east.

      We see that this currently vibrant acre could become vacant and sit empty, beginning this summer, for no reason. We hold the Les Schwab corporation to a higher standard than to remove this current nursery, garden and farm supply site, especially as their founder was a proud champion of this state, community, customer service and happy supporter of agriculture.

      It is our position as customers, representing hundreds of other customers who’ve written letters and the nearly 2,000 people who have signed the petition online and the majority of us who are also long time customers of Les Schwab, that there is more than enough land for BOTH.

      In terms of this or better, we agree! We’ve read in Naomi’s newsletter and from talking with them in person, that they will keep going no matter what and move twice if they need to to provide as uninterrupted service to all of us as possible, while continuing the search for a permanent place. They also speak of knowing there could be something even better and are very open. We support this and it’s a great part of why we love them, too. They are very positive about Les Schwab, strong and friendly and in no way victims, and as customers and supporters, we’re not either.

      We’re passionate about asking this local corporation to do what we feel is the right thing and we respect your opinion and we welcome any other location ideas from you, too.

  3. I do buy my tires from Les Schwab, I always have even though they are not the most cost effective option, they give great customer service both upfront and later on and they are local. But there’s a lot of locations for me to buy them at. Near my office in the 97209 area code, there is one just 2 blocks away, and there are three within 3 miles of my 97206 home (East Moreland Heights).

    If the Les Schwab company uproots Naomi’s, which I consider to be a valuable community resource for several local neighborhoods, they will, after 27 years no longer have my business. We simply do not need another Tire Center when they already have so many locations in the immediate area.

    What we do need is a place where young and old alike can learn more about being self sufficient in producing their own food, even on a small scale, which is going to become more and more important in the coming years. Naomi’s enhances and brings value to the surrounding neighborhoods in ways no Tire Shop ever would.

  4. Chicken and Farm Nerd

    I agree with several of these statements. Yes, Les Schwab DID state that the lease was TEMPORARY. They are being very understanding about the whole situation and I believe are treating the whole thing very professionally, whereas I feel that some of Naomi’s “friends” are victimizing the situation and making Les Schwab out to be a bad guy in many instances, simply be the choice of wording and tone in several letters I’ve read. This does not help Naomi’s and really only makes them look bad.

    I am a chicken lady, have a small “farm” and get lots of my supplies and chicks from Naomi’s. I also get lots of my gardening things there and absolutely DO NOT want a tire store there. I think Naomi’s is an awesome resource that I would be extremely “put out” to lose. I would even think about taking my tire business elsewhere (I have been a customer of Les Schwabs also). Its true, we do not need another tire store. There are PLENTY of them all over, regardless of how perfect of a location right next to 99E would be for them. We do not have any other place like Naomi’s that serves this area. I do not want to drive all the way to Belmont or Foster to get chicks and I appreciate the selection of supplies at Naomi’s.

    That said, I also basically, think that some people advocating for Naomi’s make themselves sound entitled and wrongly villainize Les Schwab, regardless of good intentions. If I were Les Schwab, I would be very tempted to act in spite. Remember the saying “the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. If we are not a little more diplomatic, Naomi’s will suffer. As an avid supporter, I am a little ashamed of some of the tactics that have been used.

    • There is room for BOTH. We strongly support both a new Les Schwab tire center on the acre or more of land facing 99E (exactly where they want to build) and keeping Naomi’s on the current acre (or less if needed for more parking) facing residential Sellwood, that they are currently on. We think the site they want to build on is actually perfect for a Les Schwab store and will add convenience for all of us. It would be a bit loud shopping for plants right along the busy highway, but it’s great for automotive use and it would be a neat juxtaposition of the two companies. What better than to have a new sustainably designed tire center on an acre, next to a really fun acre of flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, goats, chickens and where our kids can play. Sounds like sweet urban planning.

  5. new to naiomi's

    I feel more than a little misled by Naiomi’s regarding what’s really going on after reading Les Schwab’s response to my email petition.

    It’s very intrusive when you’re doing environmental assessments to gather historical data on a property. In order to find out what’s under the property for the proposed Les Schwab AND the property Naiomi currently sits on, they need to bring in equipment, move lots of dirt, do lots of drilling/testing. So I can see how Les Schwab would ask Naomi to relocate if they are preparing for the redevelopment of property.

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