What is it about North Carolina and super-cool grocery stores? First, our much-loved Fresh Market originated in Greensboro, and now the up-and-coming Earth Fare is starting to grow beyond its Asheville roots. Earth Fare emphasizes healthy, fresh, local, organic, non-toxic and earth-friendly — and affordable pricing. Besides all the usual grocery-store sections you’d expect, it also has a bakery, deli and salad bar — you can take out or eat in — and a health-and-beauty section. Think Fresh Market’s seasonal variety along with Whole Food’s in-store options mixed with a local farmer’s market commitment to sustainability all supported by the pricing of a Publix or Kroger’s. I mean, any mainstream grocery store that sells rain barrels at its front door and locally made gluten-free bread in the deli has got my attention. Earth Fare says it does not sell anything with high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors, unnatural sweeteners and synthectic growth hormones in milk and meat, and I believe it. You just sort of feel healthier as soon as you walk in. I’d heard rumors about the Earth Fare store that’s opening on University in Huntsville, Alabama, in the building formerly occupied by Office Depot and Barnes and Noble across from Madison Square Mall, so when I was in Chattanooga recently and my sister-in-law said she needed to stop by Earth Fare for some groceries, I was delighted to get a sneak peak. You know I like browsing through a good grocery store almost as much as a good shoe sale. All I can say about Earth Fare is, “Y’all are gonna love this.” Go to http://www.earthfare.com to learn more.
And I bet they don’t have screechy violin music like Fresh Market. Plus all the FMs I’ve ever been in have the same funky smell–and I don’t mean in a good way.
We have one in nearby Asheville. We love it!
I hope it comes up north. I think Whole Foods is quite expensive. Thanks for sharing.
Sarah — I need to go shopping with you so you can point these things out to me. Fresh Markets just smell and sound like money to me … as in my money going to them. But I still cannot pass one by.
Kathy – You are so right. That’s my main problem with Whole Foods. Earth Fare seems much more budget-friendly.
“Gourmet” grocery shopping is a costly and favorite hobby of mine. I can’t resist. We have a landmark Whole Foods in Austin. It’s HUGE–there’s something like 6 restaurants inside PLUS a smoothie bar, a gelato bar, a breakfast taco bar, and an a la carte bakery with mini treats. It has a park and an ice skating rink on the roof and a culinary center for cooking lessons. And the wine section? My, my, my. It’s an experience unto itself.
Amanda — You are a girl after my own heart. I believe I need to come shopping with you!
If you are ever in Austin, do let me know. We can haunt the many, many options. 😉
Will do, Amanda! Thanks.