Thursday, November 14, 2013

Organic Grocers See OTP as Fertile Field


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.  

10 comments:

Vett Vandiver said...

thanks for sharing!!

A. Mac said...

While you guys are in Atlanta, you need to check out Freshana Organic Solutions.

Anonymous said...

LOVE EarthFare. I really hope they do look into Buckhead/Sandy Springs. I get their email deals for the store in Chattanooga and it makes me so jealous.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the hell Trader Joes is expecting. Every time I go to the East Cobb store at Johnson Ferry and Roswell Rd, I can barely find a parking space.

Anonymous said...

What the heck is OTP?

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: OTP,

OTP = Outside The Perimeter.

Thanks for the comment and for your readership.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Trader Joe's location were easier to get to, not stuck in a corner location with difficult parking they might have better success.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree! That place/location is not only a traffic nightmare, but an accident waiting to happen. I've stopped in maybe 5 times since it opened. With Whole Foods across the street, an equally traffic nightmare, it's just bad planning on both of the company's parts! I like both of those stores, but not enough to lose my life to get in and out if them!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Earth Fare puts Whole Foods to absolute shame! Go to their website, and look at what the do and do not allow inside their stores. When I go to WF, I have to read every single label. Period. From the country of origin, to whether or not it is REALLY a SAFELY organic product (*hint* country of origin China, likely NOT organic, and definitely inspected by a 3rd, or more distant party), plus they allow Aspartame, Sucralose, and other neurotoxins, to be used as sweeteners in their products. Earth Fare does NOT allow ANY of the bad stuff, as such, in their stores. Their standards are higher, and their choices are fewer because of that guideline, but on the whole, their stores are FAR safer to shop for uncontaminated food.

I am BEGGING Earth Fare to consider coming INSIDE the Perimeter, just into the Atlanta area, PERIOD!! As of now, all of their stores are at least 1.5 to 2 hours away - in addition to the Atlanta trafffic, it turns grocery shopping into an all day trip. It isn't cost effective, but you'd best bet that when I'm in a town that has an Earth Fare location, I get everything I can possibly afford, or get back home safely!

Please, Earth Fare, consider expanding in Atlanta, and not just in college locals? Look into the areas of Acworth, Marietta, Kennesaw... all of which are Towns that lie outstide the perimeter. They are on the Northwest side of Atlanta. If colleges DO make the difference, Kennesaw State University is in Kennesaw, and Acworth, and Marietta, are on either side of that area. Just a thought :0)

Thank you! I hope you have gotten this message. I've been patiently waiting for 14 years!

Polly Mitchell Giles

Anonymous said...

DO NOT SHOP EART FARE! Earth Fare has devolved over the years in their food product philosophy and ethics, sadly. Total corporate snakes. I warn you, if you knew what I know about the internal top level operations and you are a person of reasonable social conscience (non-racist, non-homophobic, non-antisemetic), you'll shop elsewhere. I was closely associated with the chain since store number one. They are run by Republican , right wingers who hate the "tree hugger agenda".