Earth Fare opens new store in Fort Mill

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY JOHN MARKS [email protected]­mill­times.com John Marks: [email protected]­mill­times.com; @JohnFMTimes

It isn’t sug­gested folks do their gro­cery shop­ping blind­folded, but the Fort Mill area’s new­est gro­cer be­lieves — at least in the­ory — that peo­ple could now.

“We want to have a place where moms and dads look­ing to feed their fam­i­lies could shop lit­er­ally blind­folded and bring healthy foods home,” said Frank Scor­piniti, pres­i­dent and CEO of Earth Fare.

That place of­fi­cially opened Satur­day morn­ing.

Earth Fare’s new­est and 47th lo­ca­tion at 2351 Len Pat­ter­son Road in­cludes sev­eral first week events, from food demon­stra­tions and ed­u­ca­tion to gift card give­aways for the first cus­tomers in line Satur­day, up to $1,000.

The open­ing co­in­cides with a “grand re­open­ing” of the Rock Hill Earth Fare, which has been un­der ren­o­va­tion.

“We will have tons of ven­dor demos and sam­ples and give­aways,” said Lau­rie Aker with Earth Fare. “It’s re­ally an op­por­tu­nity for you to talk to them one-on-one, to learn more about the prod­ucts you love.”

Earth Fare has been look­ing at its cur­rent site, across from Bray­den, for more than two years. They’ve seen the in­crease in new homes, but that isn’t the only rea­son they chose the area.

“Cer­tainly pop­u­la­tion in a com­mu­nity is an im­por­tant met­ric,” Scor­piniti said. “But we see a grow­ing com­mu­nity, a com­mu­nity that cares about good food, a vi­brant, health-seek­ing com­mu­nity-mind­ed­ness.”

Earth Fare prides it­self on fresh prod­ucts that don’t have ex­tra chem­i­cals or ad­di­tives. Earth Fare says its of­fer­ings are free of added hor­mones, an­tibi­otics, ar­ti­fi­cial and trans fats, high fruc­tose corn syrup and more. Other items like gluten free or or­ganic are clearly la­beled.

Earth Fare is grow­ing at about a store open­ing per month. The Ashville.-based com­pany is large enough now to where it can of­fer high-qual­ity foods at rea­son­able — some­times sur­pris­ingly so — prices, lead­ers say.

“The busi­ness has ar­rived in its abil­ity to do that,” Scor­piniti said. “We’re large enough that small pur­vey­ors find it makes eco­nomic sense to make items for our stores.”

The new store will sell items in bulk, in­clud­ing liq­uids. It will make piz­zas to or­der and other items, and have a scratch bak­ery.

“We re­ally be­lieve we have a higher obli­ga­tion to pro­vide clean food so that fam­i­lies can eat clean on any bud­get,” Scor­piniti said.

[email protected] John Marks

Earth Fare in Fort Mill opened Satur­day at 7 a.m.

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