New Earth Fare store draws big crowd to grand opening


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Photo by Ernest Arico

If the size of the crowd that attended the grand opening of the new Earth Fare supermarket on Jan. 9 is any indication of how successful the store will be, local officials will be ecstatic.

More than 780 people attended the 6:45 a.m. opening of the first Brevard County and 11th Florida Earth Fare supermarket in the Viera East Village Shopping Center on Murrell Road.

Earth Fare, an authentic specialty natural and organic food grocery store and full-service supermarket, kicked off the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a $3,000 check presentation to the Verdi Echo School, a not-for-profit, kindergarten through grade eight, urban farm school that uses agriculture and sustainability to connect subjects across the entire curriculum. The contribution will be used to rebuild and enhance the community garden infrastructure to support growth, education and skills sharing for the local community.

The ceremony was followed by a fun-filled day for the whole family. Some customers received a mystery gift card giveaway valued at up to $1,000 to the first 500 shoppers in line, exciting contests and giveaways, free samples and product demonstrations.

With each new Healthy Rewards sign-up, shoppers also received a free reusable bag while supplies lasted. Healthy Rewards grants shoppers’ access to the store’s best deals, so they can save each time they shop with Earth Fare. Shoppers were asked to register or follow along on Facebook to learn more about opening week festivities and specials.

Store manager Caleb Thompson said he was “thrilled” with the turnout. “People are excited, we’re excited,” Thompson said. “People have been waiting for a store like this for a long time. We have a great layout, great floor plan because of the space we’ve inherited.”

Besides groceries, the 27,000 square-foot store will also feature Earth Fare’s Heirloom Café and Juice Bar. The Heirloom Café will feature juices, smoothies, coffee drinks and custom blends. Shoppers will also find a variety of clean, natural choices in the deli and prepared foods section. Amenities include a salad bar, hot foods bar, pizza station, sandwich counter and conveniently packaged meals-on-the-go. These delicious options can be enjoyed in the café with free Wi-Fi, or taken home so shoppers can enjoy a hassle-free, homemade meal.

Shayna Kearney of Rockledge said she liked the store’s produce section. “I like this kind of store,” she said, while holding her 4-year-old son, Logan. “I’m looking for whole foods. I want us to eat unboxed foods.”

Nancy Richman of Viera said the store’s selection is phenomenal. “I’m always looking for fresh fish,” she said. “And their fruits look very good, too.”

Laurie Aker, spokeswoman for Earth Fare, said the company has distinguished itself as a leader in the healthy foods industry by developing a unique food philosophy, ensuring that all products sold are free of a variety of unacceptable ingredients, found on Earth Fare’s Boot List. In addition, Earth Fare offers more than 1,000 private brand food products sourced using only non-GMO ingredients, with more added to shelves each day.

Aker added that Earth Fare is committed to providing healthy food to everyone, everywhere, which means offering the cleanest, healthiest assortment at a great value.

For example, Akers said daily meal deals mean that a family of four can enjoy a healthy meal together every day of the week for less than $10. The brand also boasts a line of value-priced, all-natural cleaning products, wellness supplements and knowledgeable store staff to help provide solutions and suggestions for eating and living clean, healthier lives.

To ensure that Earth Fare continues its healthy food philosophy, the company has a community advisory board made up of volunteers that listens to its customers.

Brian Bomser, a member of that advisory board, said Earth Fare wants to “bring the flower and taste” of its stores to the community. “We recognize this is what the area wants our grocery store to be.”

Chan Grason of Suntree, and a native of the Philippines, said she likes coming here because it offers some international foods she enjoys. “We’re so happy they are here,” she said.

Ken Devarney of Cocoa said it’s “about time” a store like this is in Brevard County. “I like the organic vegetables section and the selection of whole grain foods.”

Rick White of Palm Bay said he doesn’t mind the commute to Viera because the store has got what he likes to eat. “I’m pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”

To learn more about Earth Fare’s fresh approach to improving lives through a healthier lifestyle, visit  www.earthfare.com