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.
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.
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!
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:
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.