Asheville is too small a community for horrible business practices to go unreported. We want to be explicit about how Charlie Ball of Troy & Sons and Troy Hopey of Hopey & Co. (formerly Amazing Savings) have chosen to advance their businesses at the expense of others. The worst part of the whole situation is Ball’s dishonesty: he refused to be up front with us as soon as he decided to expand Hopey & Co., allow them to introduce their own cafe to the Downtown Market building, and evict us. Although he told other tenants this was his plan months before, he never spoke to us directly and completely blindsided us. We were promised renovations, so that’s what we expected and acted upon with equipment purchases. We have always reinvested our funds back into our business, so we don’t have thousands of dollars in the bank to relocate. Had we been given notice, even three months ago, we could have made different choices and saved every penny. Hopey showed his true colors by proposing to move into our space and start his own cafe, so after three successful years we’re being pushed out to make way for his expansion. We are the “little fish” in this situation, and feel the urgent need to blow the whistle on unethical business decisions – especially by people who say they care about local and small businesses.
One ray of hope shines into the darkness of this situation: a local entrepreneur has approached us with the opportunity to help finance Hi-Fi’s relocation. Singlehandedly, he has revived our tenacity, heartened our souls to pick up the pieces, and given us the chance to keep our business alive. We are beside ourself with gratitude, and diligently working on a plan to move forward. We will keep our Facebook page updated and launch a Kickstarter campaign as soon as possible to generate the necessary finances. The overwhelming support of the friends and family we’ve created through our business speaks volumes for the community and our place in it. Please, Asheville, keep proving that this city is still about people – not money!