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Earthfare to Open 50 Additional US Stores
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019 8:35 am

the Steele Creek location, Earth Fare also opened a Fort Mill, S.C., store in October.

Earth Fare’s cheese section features cheeses from four types of animals: goats, cows, sheep and water buffalo. The Asheville natural foods grocer opens its latest Charlotte store Wednesday in Steele Creek.
Katherine Peralta kperalta@charlotteobserver.com

 Earth Fare, which was founded in Asheville in 1975 as a company called “Dinner for the Earth,” is also renovating its existing stores. The one in SouthPark, for instance, is getting its sit-down eating area revamped.

“The acceleration of the growth really comes from the access to capital we now have with our private equity partner,” Scorpiniti said, referring to Oak Hill Capital’s 2012 purchase of the chain. Earth Fare has stores as far north as Kalamazoo, Mich., and as far south as Florida, but most of its locations are in the southeast.

Earth Fare’s stores are around 24,000 square feet, roughly half the size of the new stores that traditional grocers like Harris Teeter and Publix have opened in recent years. 

The new Steele Creek store also has a bakery, sections of bulk nuts and spices, a pizza station, a sandwich counter and a packaged meals-on-the-go section. The prices, however, aren’t as steep as customers might expect from other natural or organic foods stores.

At the Steele Creek store, for instance, avocados are three for $2. Two boxes of Annie’s organic mac & cheese cost $3, and bananas are 49 cents per pound.

Earth Fare opens its newest Charlotte store Wednesday morning in the Steele Creek area. This will be the Asheville grocer’s seventh in the region.
Katherine Peralta kperalta@charlotteobserver.com

 “Sometimes there’s a misconception, that to eat healthy you have to spend more,” Scorpiniti said. “We’ve tried really hard to break that misconception and make sure we have offerings in here that allows anyone to get past that barrier.”

The new Steele Creek location opened at 7 a.m. Wednesday. To celebrate the opening, the store will be giving away gift cards to the first 200 customers in line on Saturday morning, starting at 7 a.m.


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