In what’s become a regular refrain in Wichita retail news, the city is getting another new grocery store.
This time, it’s Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, and it will open in a new 30,000-square-foot building at Piccadilly Square at Central and Rock Road.
“We can confirm that we do have a lease executed,” says spokesman Diego Romero.
“We’re a healthy grocery store,” he says. “We focus on fresh, natural and organic foods.”
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In recent years, Wichita has seen the arrival of Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market and two Natural Grocers stores.
Romero says Sprouts is something of a blend of a specialty grocer and a more conventional grocery store.
“Really, what we like to provide customers … is healthy living for less,” he says. “We don’t believe that fresh, natural and organic should be a luxury.”
Last week, Have You Heard? reported that Piccadilly Market & Grill, which has been at Piccadilly Square since 1989, is moving and reconfiguring its concept in the Toubia family’s former Chelsea’s Bar and Grill space in Comotara Center at 29th and North Rock Road.
Prior to that, the Toubia family announced that its Olive Tree Catering is moving to its former Olive Tree Bistro banquet hall next to the former Chelsea’s.
At the new Sprouts building, Romero says, there will be a large and prominent produce section in the center of its store with items that are 20 to 25 percent off of what other retailers charge.
The store isn’t focused solely on produce, though.
“We also have a really neat bulk bins department,” Romero says.
There are more than 500 varieties of nuts, granola, grains and sweets.
There also is a bakery, a deli and meat and seafood areas.
“There’s a huge vitamin and supplement … department,” Romero says.
He says the chain looks at it as a “proactive pharmacy.”
Customers won’t necessarily find some big-brand items that aren’t as healthy, Romero says.
“You’re going to find a plethora of better-for-you options in our stores,” he says.
“Our roots come from a single fruit stand in San Diego.”
Sprouts has released a list of stores that it will open in the first quarter of 2016, and Wichita is not on it. Romero can’t say exactly how long it will take to open, but it likely will be at least a year.
“There is clearly a demand for natural and organic foods in the market, and we believe it will be a strong fit for us,” he says.
Romero says all of the other grocery stores that have been opening in Wichita haven’t been a deterrent for the chain.
“We do really well with all different grocery formats next to us.”
Romero says a dual focus on health and value helps Sprouts succeed.
“We see ourselves right in the middle of America’s biggest trends.”