EarthFare AND Sprouts planning Forsyth county locations.
Asheville, North Carolina-based Earth Fare will open one of their first Atlanta area locations at the Collection at Forsyth (previously Avenues Forsyth). The natural foods grocer is planning a number of new locations with this scheduled to be among their first, with a planned opening during the second half of next year. The store will be built along Ronald Reagan Boulevard in a currently undeveloped portion of the center.
Earth Fare has also been scouting the north Buckhead/Sandy Springs area, and is one of many organic grocers that are rumored to have expressed interest in the vacant Office Max at Loehmann's Plaza near Emory. As recently as February, EarthFare said (via their official Twitter) that they had no plans for Atlanta. This clearly has changed.
Earth Fare has existing Georgia locations in Athens and Augusta.
Just a few miles north of the planned Earth Fare, Phoenix, Arizona-based Sprouts is opening a store at Lakeland Plaza. Sprouts will open a 28,000 square foot location in place of a vacant Stein Mart. Interestingly, in my research for this post, I found a change.org petition with a local Cumming resident pleading with Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market to open in the center's long vacant Kroger space. Another Cumming Patch article published this past August asked readers what should replace the old Kroger. The number one response was Whole Foods, with a number of requests for Trader Joe's, and then the more laughable responses like Olive Garden, Costco or my favorite, Atlanta's first Wegman's.
Trader Joe's representatives have said they have no intention of opening any additional locations in the Atlanta market partially due to the fact that they are not altogether pleased with their current locations. According to insider sources, Trader Joe's is only pleased with their Buckhead and Midtown locations while others like East Cobb and Norcross do just "ok."
Whole Foods, which entered the Atlanta market in 1999 with a location at the corner of LaVista and Briarcliff Roads, has been pushing OTP as of late, but its strongest stores remain Midtown and Buckhead. Whole Foods will open a location in Alpharetta at Avalon, just off GA 400 at Old Milton Parkway.
Sprouts is making Atlanta look like its next growth market and seems unafraid of starting OTP. Thus far, I have reports of Sprouts going to Snellville, Norcross, Roswell, Smyrna, North Buckhead and possibly Dunwoody.
The Snellville location is slated to open this coming spring, replacing a shuttered Ethan Allen store in The Shoppes at Webb Gin (formerly The Avenue Webb Gin). The Roswell location is scheduled to open at Roswell Marketplace, which sits at the corner of Mansell Road and Alpharetta Highway, and was previously a Big Star grocery. In Smyrna, Sprouts is planned for Olde Ivy Village near the intersection of South Cobb Drive and the East West Connector. Sprouts Norcross will anchor Peachtree Corners
Place Market, a new project from Fuqua Development on Peachtree Parkway. The Sandy Springs Gateway Project, at the Sandy Springs/Buckhead line, will also host a Sprouts...when the project gets built...
Both EarthFare and Sprouts have have also been mentioned as possible tenants to one of the many Decatur area projects proposed or under development. Among the possible locales: Emory Point Phase 2, and Decatur Crossing, the proposed Fuqua project at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road.