Earth Fare now open in Solon, Ohio!

A few weeks ago I was asked to help promote the opening of a new Earth Fare grocery store in Solon, Ohio. For the record I was given a gift certificate as payment for my time and effort, but what you are about to read is 100% my own impressions.

I arrived on site around 5pm to meet up with my tour guide Ritchie and my friend Sarah of Cooker Girl.

I immediately noticed how busy the place was for a Wednesday afternoon. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside one of my local supermarkets at the same time of day and saw as much foot traffic. I later learned there were samples and giveaways during the day to help promote the store and some of the crowd may have been leftover from those events. I’d like to think though, the people of Solon were just so happy to have an Earth Fare, they dropped everything to come see what was inside.

I was blown away by all the color and organization in the produce section. Look at those tomatoes and tell me it doesn’t look like someone is selling you product from a magazine! Earth Fare has a number of ways to guarantee freshness and quality  They won’t call it local unless it comes from within 100 miles of the store. This means some stores may carry different product than the one in the next town. Interesting, huh? They also promote family run farms as you can see on the other sign. Organic produce is marked with a special circular sticker and, check this out, they even go so far as to be careful where they place the food on the shelves. Think about it…if something organic is below something non-organic, when the “rain” goes off it will wash all the chemicals and what-have-yous off the top items and onto the organic ones below. Earth Fare thinks of everything!

Along the tour, Ritchie told us the history of Earth Fare, how they started in North Carolina, and have the goal of being the go-to super market for fresh and organic needs. They won’t carry anything with artificial colors or sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and other hot ticket no-nos. (which is how I discovered there is such a thing as Mexican Coke…it has cane sugar). They do however have a TON of products with Palm Oil or Palm Kernel Oil…I tried to convince him this was a major bummer both for me and the rain forest. He agreed to do research and post about it on their main website…so be on the look out for the small impact I have on the world. They also carry sodas with stevia extract, and I know a lot of people who can’t tolerate it the same as artificial sweeteners. So buyer still beware.

After fruits and veggies we passed the various meats and dairy sections, where we saw glass milk bottles perfect for recycling and meat so fresh the color is insanely vivid.  Unlike other stores they don’t pump it full of red dye. I also took this opportunity to do a price check. I buy Chobani yogurt all time. Where I buy mine the container I get is $5.99, at this store it was $6.49. Not a HUGE difference, but I can see how it would add up. I’d like to think the benefit from the other items you’re buying more than makes up for the price shift.

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Then we entered the “hippy section”. Okay it isn’t called that, but it is what I consider the “hippy section”. Lots of natural foods, like a million flavors of granola or quinoa, homemade energy bites, bulk everything, including spices, salt soaks, and candy. I was impressed with the “healthy” M&Ms and gummy bears, as well as the bulk spices. Some spices are SO EXPENSIVE and you only use them once a year and in small amounts. Save everyone time and money by only getting what you need, you can even bring your own container!

I know one feature many of my readers will enjoy. The make your own peanut butter station! With tap your own honey, agave and something else on top! Ritchie even showed us the insanely popular peanut butter with chocolate blended into it!

Earth Fare has a deeply generous try-it policy. Basically feel free to try anything in their store before you buy it. Please be hygienic about it though. If there is a boxed item you’re not sure about, such as cereal, grab an associate  They will open it for you and allow you to sample it before you buy. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, no hard feelings.

In the interest of time allow me to highlight the rest of what we saw on our tour. You have your standard sections for various food items, including cleaning products. I loved learning the gluten-free items were on the same shelves as everything else. It always seemed to me so unfair GF people needed to go to their own little area of the store. At Earth Fare they simply look for the wooden shelf and they know those are their products. In the pasta section Sarah and I found Mag Noodles and gave a little “woo-hoo” for a local product we learned about at an Ohio Bloggers Meetup last year. There were also a lot of different shapes for wheat pasta (thank you!) and pasta made from soybean and black beans!

Earth Fare has a salad bar, hot foods section, and a make your own frozen yogurt area! Sadly it was tapped out by the time I arrived. There is also a beautiful and yummy smelling bakery for sweets and breads and a place for ordering sandwiches or pizza! Although most tempting to me were the scoop your own ravioli bar, the olives bar and near the front a variety of different jams (I like to add it to my oatmeal).

Ritchie even told me about the Earth Fare Earthletes program when he learned I am a runner. That is really something I could get behind!

I bet you didn’t think I could make an entire post about a grocery store, huh? Well, Earth Fare is just that awesome and that wasn’t even everything I experienced. If you want to check it out for yourself….or you live in an area where you have your own….then I have some exciting news for you! Earth Fare has given me a $50 gift card for a giveaway!

To enter please leave a comment telling me why you like your Earth Fare. **Required**

For an additional entry send out a tweet saying:

“I want to fall in love with @EarthFare like @ROJRunning by winning a $50 gift card. Enter here:“.

Please leave an additional comment letting me know you sent the tweet.

Giveaway closes on Wednesday 5/22/13 Midnight EST. Good Luck!

Update: 5/23/13 giveaway winner was Christen M! Congratulations and thanks everyone who entered.


17 thoughts on “Earth Fare now open in Solon, Ohio!

  1. I love Earth Fare! I have been going to the one at Westgate since it opened. In fact I was there for their grand opening!! Their prepared sesame kale is to die for! The two things I like best about them is that all of their produce is organic and none of their products contain high fructose corn syrup!

  2. I LOVE Earth Fare for MANY reasons. First of all, I am a vegan and they have a wonderful selection of vegan products (queso, cream cheese, tempeh, seitan, tofu, ice cream, whip cream ect…). Also, working full-time sometimes doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to cook. After work, Earth Fare has been my SAVIOR in having pre-made sandwiches, vegetable rolls, a salad bar, a hot bar, and a deli case. It is wonderful to know that their produce always looks TASTY and super organic. They also have a wonderful FRESH bread selection, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies ect… ALSO, their staff is the most sociable and friendly grocery store staff I have ever encounter. They come from all walks of life and are truly happy to be working there. Not to mention that they have coupons and daily deals for certain foods and products. Earth Fare is by far my favorite grocery store.

  3. I love my Earth Fare Westgate in Asheville, NC. I’m a stay at home
    mama and student so we are single income right now and I can feed my family healthfully by shopping the bulk bins for dried beans, grains, nuts, and coffee. People think feeding their family whole foods and organically is expensive, and it can be, but even we can do it by shopping sales and careful budgeting. Earth Fare Westgate also features a lot of the wonderful local food that North and South Carolina have to offer. Love it!!!

  4. I like the local food products: in my Earth Fare you can buy eggs from ‘The Egg Lady’. There is a picture of her flock (an actual photograph tacked to the shelf, not the normal happy-cow-in-a-field type marketing junk). The label on her boxes is hand written and all the eggs are different colours and shapes. Isn’t it awesome that a large supermarket chain support this level of local supply chains with such integrity!

  5. earth fare has awesome coupons over email & texts! ours had done these awesome meals – where you get to buy 4 or 5 items for $1 each… like amazing mozzarella balls, dough, & sauce all for $3 or once they did – pasta, sausage, salad greens and a bottle of dressing – all items were $1 each!

  6. We moved to Asheville in 92. I have been eating healthy since the 80’s.Was concerned as to where I would get my herbs, vitamins and food. From the first time I walked in, I knew I found my store! From the fresh flowers, to the friendly people working. You really feel like you are at home.

  7. I have an Earth Fare about 50 minutes away, but it is in a shopping center my daughter and love to go too. Have only been there on the weekends and it is always packed. There are just too many things to list on why I like it. LOVE the large cheese selection! Love that I don’t have to read the ingredient labels for HFCS… Goofy but since many of the brands are not in a Walmart, we love looking at the colorful labels.

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