An Alabama grocer called Organic Harvest is expanding into Charlotte.
The organic grocer will take the 10,000-square-foot space on Central Avenue previously occupied by Healthy Home Market in Plaza Midwood, Organic Harvest CEO Michael Maddox told the Observer on Monday.
Healthy Home Market is the homegrown organic grocer that filed for bankruptcy in February, months after closing its last remaining Charlotte-area stores. Organic Harvest acquired certain assets, including cash registers and other store equipment from Healthy Home Markets’ Plaza Midwood and Matthews stores as part of the bankruptcy.
Now, the Plaza Midwood space is in the process of being remodeled and repainted, said Maddox, a former Healthy Home Market executive who left the company in 2014. Maddox spent years in consulting before joining Organic Harvest about a year ago.
Organic Harvest sells organic and natural foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, beer and wine and items available in bulk. “We critique everything that comes into the store to make sure it fits our profile,” Maddox said.
Maddox said he is confident Organic Harvest will thrive in Charlotte because the city is growing quickly and is filled with the grocer’s target customer: those who value high-quality groceries and those who like to shop in a booming part of town.
In Charlotte, competition in the organic grocery industry is intensifying: Whole Foods opened its uptown location in June, for instance, and Phoenix natural foods grocer Sprouts opened its first Charlotte location in Ballantyne in April.
Maddox says the plan is to open in Plaza Midwood in early October. He hopes to open other locations in the Charlotte region at some point down the line.
“Charlotte’s one of the best cities in the South for growth and new movement,” Maddox said. “You’ve got a lot of young professionals moving in and changing the landscape and the way people shop. They want better quality and better ingredients.”
It’s not uncommon to see new grocery stores open in the spots where another grocer recently closed.
Food Lion, for instance, said this month it will open in the former 201central spot on Eastfield Road in Huntersville, for instance. In Myrtle Beach, Florence, S.C., and Columbia, Food Lion in May said it plans to buy four Bi-Lo locations that closed this spring.
Organic Harvest operates one other store currently, in Hoover, Ala., although more stores are planned for Hoover and Birmingham, Ala.