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Sprouts opens in Valencia

New business: Farmers market offers open layout, natural foods to shoppers starting today

Posted: August 31, 2010 4:58 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Clerk Timothy Wilson stocks the bulk-food section last Thursday in preparation of the opening of Sprouts Farmers Market in Valencia. Sprouts opens today.

You can see from one end of the store to the other in the new Sprouts Farmers Market, which opens at 7 a.m. today in the River Oaks shopping center in Valencia.

More in keeping with the tradition of an outdoor farmers market, the interior of the family-owned food chain has a lower profile, lacking the taller shelves confronting shoppers at most retail grocery stores.

The store inside the old Mervyn’s on Magic Mountain and McBean parkways features natural, organic products including fresh produce, all-natural fresh meats, seafood, hormone-free milk and more than 300 bins of bulk rice, spices, nuts and grains.

The store also stocks thousands of vitamins and supplements in a nutrition center.

All purchases on opening day will be bagged in green reusable shopping bags. The market is featuring $1, $2 and $5 sales on a variety of popular items through Sunday.

Customers will be treated to food samples, and the store is holding basket raffle prizes throughout the day.

To round out a shopper’s experience, the market has a deli and bakery department, sells gourmet bulk coffee in 45 different varieties and periodically offers free in-store health-education seminars from practitioners who speak on a wide range of health care topics.

 “We’re really excited about this opening,” said Doug Sanders, chief operating officer of Sprouts. “We’re geared toward a healthier diet and lifestyle. And we work really hard to keep prices affordable for everyone.”

Sprouts was founded by the Boney family of Henry’s Markets. Henry Boney opened a fruit stand in San Diego in the 1940s, and later expanded into a chain of Henry’s Market stores.

Boney’s son and grandson, Stan and Shon, began Sprouts markets in 2002 after Henry’s was sold to Wild Oats markets in 1999.

Today there are 54 Sprouts Farmers Markets in California, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Sanders said 22 stores have opened in the past 15 months.

Fresh produce and seafood are delivered to each store six days a week.

“Sprouts products are a good value, and that has resonated with people in these tough economic times,” said Sanders.

The market also distributes a free bimonthly magazine, customized to Sprouts, at all of its locations to inform and educate customers. The magazine features a mix of health-related articles, recipes and tips, as well as introducing new products.

Sprouts’ website states that the market also supports healthy living by making in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations in the communities in which it operates. Information is available on the company website.

Phil Martini, manager of the Valencia store, has been a local resident for the past 25 years and has worked in the grocery industry for 34 years.

Martini said Sprouts customers don’t just shop for foods because they have to; they shop because they want to, and enjoy trying new, healthful products that the market offers at low prices.

Dana From, media relations manager, said produce is secured from all over the world, depending on the season. But the company buys locally whenever possible, and the majority of its buyers are from California.

“The friendly atmosphere and affordable, fresh food selection is a nice combination, one I know residents of Santa Clarita are going to appreciate,” Martini said.


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