Natural Foods Merchandiser
Bo Sharon of Lucky39s Market based in Boulder Colo

Bo Sharon of Lucky's Market based in Boulder, Colo.

New Year marks continued natural retail growth

Natural foods retail expansions continue at a healthy clip so far in 2013.

Natural retailers across the nation are ringing in the New Year with new stores.

The news of expansions continues in all regions of the country and ranges from independent natural foods retailers to cooperatives to chains such as Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market.

Here are some recent announcements:

Lee Shavers plans to open his third Peggy’s Whole Foods in Daytona Beach, Fla. The 9,000-square-foot store will include a bakery, café and small public conference room. He told The Daytona Beach News-Journal: While he acknowledges "what we do is not for everybody," Shavers said he has seen an increase in demand for organic produce and meats. "People are concerned about hormones and antibiotics in their food," he said, a concern that is growing nationally, according to the Organic Trade Association.

Lucky’s Market of Boulder, Colo., announced one of its first expansion locations will be in the Clintonville neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Owner, president and co-founder of Lucky’s, Bo Sharon told the Columbus Dispatch: “Clintonville just feels right, is the best way to put it. It’s a tight community, a like-minded community and supportive of each other.”

Local Choice Produce Market opened mid-January in Portland, Ore. “We’re not a health food store,” owner Don Sader told Sustainable Business Oregon. “We’re a real food store.” They will focus on local foods and its own certification dubbed The Happy Farmer Certification. Sustainable Business Oregon included a photo gallery of the new outlet.

In Lebanon, Pa., the two-year-old Palmyra Real Food Emporium cooperative has expanded by adding more local products, a bulk section, and a produce and meeting room as well as partnering with neighboring Subwich & Soup Base and Breakfast Place, which uses items from the store in its preparations. Owner Tom Maurer hopes to add a bakery and meat operation.

Basil Bandwagon Natural Market in New Jersey is adding a second location in Clinton after 20 years in business. also reported that The Healthy Habit moved in September to include take-out and a wider range of offerings.

Chautauqua Natural Foods in Garberville, Calif., opened a new store Jan. 2 and is reimagining its former location. The Redwood Times described the changes: Chautauqua’s current store will remain open—or at least half-open—as Café Minou. About half the old store will be closed for renovations, ultimately to re-open as what Chautauqua general manager Rio Anderson envisions as an “old-world style” deli, featuring dishes made from family recipes and tables where customers can enjoy their meals indoors.

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op will open a downtown location in its Virginia city, adding to its current location, greenhouse and urban farm projects.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will open an Omaha, Neb., location Feb. 12. The Colorado-based chain will remain focused on nutritional coaching, eco-friendliness and local sourcing and community in Nebraska, according to a corporate press release. The chain also announced its Jan. 22 opening in Denton, Texas, its 12th location in the state. And the Statesman Journal announced the grocer will open in Salem, Ore., in June, reporting this store and one planned for Medford would be the chain’s first forays into Oregon.

Sprouts Farmers Market, which owns about 150 stores in western states, announced its first of five planned Houston-area locations, according to The Rancher. It opened a store in Longmont, Colo. and will open a North Fresno, Calif., location by May. CEO Doug Sanders told TBJNow that there is interest in locating a store in Visalia.

Whole Foods Market broke ground Jan. 18 on a 39,000-square-foot downtown Fremont, Calif., store and received approval for a Highland Village, Texas, location in The Shops at Highland Village outside of Dallas. Meanwhile, Whole Foods has closed a Tucson, Ariz., store for extensive remodeling to be debuted in autumn this year. The store will be rebuilt from the ground up and expanded to a two-story structure of approximately 32,000 square feet with administrative and meeting space on the second level, according to a Whole Foods press release.

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