Thursday, September 26, 2013

Natural Grocers now hiring, plans Nov. 12 opening in Idaho Falls

It's hard to miss something as big and purple as the Natural Grocers store being built in Idaho Falls.
Natural Grocers, a 58-year-old chain based in Colorado, has set Nov. 12 as the opening date for its 15,000-square-foot store on 17th Street, said Nancy Flynn, spokeswoman for the company.

In addition to the store, the developer, Leadership Circle, LLC, of Montrose, Colo., is seeking eventually to build a restaurant and a retail store on the 4.42 acres, but the only definite plans at the moment are for the grocery. The 4,816 square-foot-restaurant pad and 11,250-square-foot retail pad are listed with Randy Waters of Sperry Van Ness High Desert.

Natural Grocers has stores in 12 states, with six more scheduled to open this year. In 2011 it opened stores in Boise and Missoula, and most recently it opened a store in Helena, in December.

"We really cater to specialty diets, gluten-free, non GMO (genetically modified organisms)," Flynn said. Because of their small footprint (a Whole Foods store, by contrast, is typically twice the size) and their emphasis on personal communication and education rather than advertising, they are able to keep their costs down. "We feel like we're the label-readers in the market," Flynn said.

When it opens, the store will employ around 25 people. All the produce they sell is USDA-certified organic, and Flynn said they buy local produce "every chance we get."
The company's Web site is www.naturalgrocers.com.