Carrie Rengers

New Wichita grocery store opens Wednesday

Sneak peek of new Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market spokeswoman Erin Miller offers a sneak peek of the new store at Central and Rock Road in Wichita. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle
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Sprouts Farmers Market spokeswoman Erin Miller offers a sneak peek of the new store at Central and Rock Road in Wichita. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle

The new Sprouts Farmers Market opens at 7 a.m. on Wednesday at Central and Rock Road in a new 30,000-square-foot building where Piccadilly Market & Grill used to be.

The Phoenix-based chain, which has 253 stores nationally, lives up to its name in a few different ways.

“Produce is really the heart of our store,” spokeswoman Erin Miller says. “That’s one of the biggest traffic drivers is our fresh business.”

She says produce accounts for about 25 percent of the company’s sales.

“This is really what brings people in.”

It’s also what makes a Sprouts store look a little different.

“Unlike many traditional grocery stores, produce is literally in the center of the store,” Miller says.

“It’s kind of unique, and also it provides visible sight lines throughout the store. No matter where you are you can really see where you are.”

Miller says there are some nontraditional fresh items, too, such as lychee and star fruit.

“If you would like to try something … our great team members will cut it open for you on the spot,” she says. “Kind of fun things to try.”

Some of the produce is organic, and some isn’t.

“There’s no one-size-fits all approach to healthy living,” Miller says.

The store doesn’t carry items such as Coke or Tide.

“We’ve got a lot of other great options,” Miller says. “We’re really looking for … natural, organic products.”

The Sprouts motto is “healthy living for less.”

Miller says one way the store helps shoppers save is by offering a variety of bulk items that are available in extremely small quantities, such as a teaspoon of a certain spice.

Without expensive packaging in the bulk food, which features a variety of candy, nuts and dried fruits and vegetables, she says, “It’s a place where people are going to find value.”

Another big section of the store is the vitamin and body care department.

“A lot of people come into this department and don’t know where to go,” Miller says. “All the team members in this area have really had a lot of extra training and can help guide you.”

There’s natural beauty care with items such as gluten-free makeup.

Sprouts also has traditional deli, bakery and dairy departments. Its meat department features grass-fed beef, all-natural chicken and up to 20 varieties of sausage ground in the store. Miller says Sprouts butchers are known for being able to do any cut of meat, including special orders such as particularly thin slices.

Miller says Sprouts also is known for its double-ad Wednesdays that feature sale items from the previous week’s sales along with the upcoming week’s sale items, too.

She says Sprouts, which is growing by 14 percent annually, is opening 34 stores this year.

The Wichita store, which Miller says customers have been requesting, almost was the first one to open this year. A new Sprouts in Atlanta will beat it by an hour.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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