Earth Fare opens new Concord location

Earth Fare comes to Concord

Company's 41st store prepares to open
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Company's 41st store prepares to open

Earth Fare welcomed shoppers to its new Concord location Wednesday, as the Asheville-based supermarket expands its local presence.

The 24,000 square-foot grocery store, located in the Concord Mills shopping corridor at Beard Road and Christenbury Parkway, is the health- and wellness-focused supermarket’s fifth location in the greater Charlotte area and the 41st location overall.

The opening comes at a time of major changes in the grocery industry and increasing competition in Charlotte’s grocery market, with both low-price stores such as Lidl and Aldi vying with high-end supermarkets like Publix and Harris Teeter for shoppers’ wallets. Amazon’s pending acquisition of Whole Foods also marks a major shift in the grocery industry.

Earth Fare employee Eric Nevius stocks a selection of cheeses in the company’s new Concord location on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. David T. Foster III

CEO Frank Scorpiniti, however, said Earth Fare’s strategy will remain the same.

“The Amazon-Whole Foods combination is the latest change in a constantly-changing industry,” Scorpiniti said. “But we are absolutely committed and steadfastly focused on our food philosophy, so that you can shop in Earth Fare blindfolded and know that nothing you take home will have artificial ingredients, artificial colors, sweeteners or antibiotics. That’s what makes us special.”

Founded in 1975, Earth Fare sells products free of additives, including high fructose corn syrup, added growth hormones and artificial fats.

As the grocery industry gets more competitive and other stores such as Kroger and Aldi expand their lines of organic products, Earth Fare debuted a blunt new advertising campaign and slogan in January to lure new customers: “Live Longer with Earth Fare.”

“At Earth Fare, we are passionate about helping our shoppers make the connection between clean foods and longer, healthier, happier lives,” Scopritini said in a statement.

A selection of reusable bags are stocked on a wall as preparation continues at Earth Fare’s new Concord location on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. David T. Foster III

Beyond groceries, the Concord store also features a salad bar, hot foods bar, pizza station and sandwich counter, as well as Earth Fare’s Heirloom Organic Café and Juice Bar, now operating in four Earth Fare locations.

“What’s really cool about this story is that in 24,000 square feet, which is really easy to navigate, you can get virtually everything you need for your pantry or fridge,” Scorpiniti said.

Matt Kaminer: 704-358-5258, @MattKaminer